Why Should You Shoot Infrared?

I get that question all the time so let me answer it with a few questions of my own ala Jeff Foxworthy…

  • If you like black & white photography, you’ll love shooting infrared.
  • If you can’t always shoot at the” golden” hour or sunrise/sunset but still want to make interesting images, you’ll love shooting infrared.
  • If you’re looking to kick start your photography out of the doldrums, you’ll love shooting infrared.
  • If you enjoy a technical challenge when making photographs, you’ll love shooting infrared

But the best way to explain why I like to shoot infrared can be seen in the below before and after images (that also points out some of IR capture’s challenges.)

no.IR.lake

IR.lake

I made the above images while preparing for my new workshop, Lakeside Infrared Photography, and they were shot with a Panasonic Lumix GH4 with 14-42mm lens (at 34mm) with Hoya’s 52mm R72 Infrared filter attached. In the bottom image, this produced an exposure of 15 seconds at f/5.2 and ISO 1600, which accounts for the blurry foliage in the foreground—it’s always breezy at the lake.

As I write this my Lumix G5 is at LifePixel being converted to IR-only capture. After conversion, it will enable me to shoot images like the bottom photograph at much lower ISO settings and with hand-held shutter speeds. When the camera comes back I’ll post my experiences with it. That doesn’t mean you can ignore the camera filter. It’s much less expensive than converting a camera and an inexpensive way to see if you like capturing and processing infrared photographs. On the other hand, once converted you won’t be able use the camera for conventional photography.

Special for this blog’s readers: If you want to save money when converting your camera to infrared, use the coupon code “farace” at LifePixel.