How I Created ‘Infrared Caboose’

Today’s Post by Joe Farace



I made the above photograph at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, CO while shooting with Mark Toal. It is really a composite of several individual infrared images because on this particular day, this particular caboose was being used for a children’s party, with kids and their parents running in and out of the caboose.

I really wanted to get just a shot of the caboose and the trees; I wasn’t sure how IR images of people and kids in the scene would affect the mood I was trying to produce. I tried waiting for the activity to settle down but just kept shooting hoping to get an image without birthday celebrants running around but that never happened. Using several files with people in different places within the frame, I combined them using Photoshop’s Layers to produce a people-less composite image that was inspired by the HBO show Carnivàle, despite that show being about the circus—maybe its the effect of the toned infrared photo, who knows…

I shot the image with a Panasonic Lumix G5 that was converted to infrared capture by LifePixel. Lens was a borrowed (from Mark) 15mm manual focus Voigtlander and the RAW file was captured with an exposure of 1/250 sec at f/11 and ISO 400. The RAW file  was processed in Silver Efex Pro and then Color Efex Pro, both of which are part of the Nik Collection, which are now free so you should download a


My book, The Complete Guide to Digital Infrared Photography is currently out-of-print but used copies are available from Amazon for under $15. Creative Digital Monochrome Effects has a chapter on IR photography and is available from Amazon with new copies under $6 and used copies for less than three bucks.