Shooting with Enhanced Infrared


As I’ve gained more experience in working with a Panasonic Lumix G6 that was converted with an Enhanced IR filter Ive had a change of heart. This filter is equivalent to 665nm filter and allows more color to pass through to the sensor and is especially suited for color IR photography producing lots of saturation and wider color range.

In mySetting White Balance for IR Photographypost I suggest you “shoot in Monochrome mode. No white balance needed, everything is right there on your LCD.” I still think that’s the best way for shooting the Standard IR conversion that was done to my Lumix G5 but not for the Enhanced Color option. Based on my recent experience, it seems this conversion is more sensitive to variations in exposure. Overexposed Enhanced IR images, as is the case of the above photograph of Mary at Bingham Lake, can still be used to produce a good black & white image, because as LifePixel states “BW also looks quite good although with a bit less contrast without adjustments.” But not so much for a color image.

LED.IRSince traditional histograms don’t work as well in infrared, shooting the Enhanced IR filter in RAW lets you see sky/foreground separation directly on the LCD screen or EVF for mirrorless shooters. If you have sufficient separation between the sky and foreground, you can produce the kind of color infrared images shown in my tutorial “ Creating the Blue Sky Infrared Technique.” The magenta-charged images on the LCD screen may be a little harder to view but you can clearly if there is separation. Obtaining proper exposure—some bracketing may be required—with the Enhanced IR filter around the same lake lets you produce images like the below photograph.


My book, The Complete Guide to Digital Infrared Photography is currently out-of-print but used copies are available from Amazon starting at $13.18, as I write this. Creative Digital Monochrome Effects has a chapter on IR photography and is available from Amazon with new copies under $10 and used copies selling for $2.55 (plus shipping) which has to be one of the best book deals out their for what is my personal favorite book.