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Round Out Your Photography - Shoot Infrared!

by Deborah Sandidge

Church in Switzerland
Church in Switzerland
© Deborah Sandidge
All Rights Reserved
Infrared photography will expand your photographic horizons. It offers the photographer an alternative way to "tell the story" by creating an image that is more surreal and enchanting than possible in color.

Various subjects reflect and absorb infrared light differently than in color. The results may surprise you! Leaves from trees such as maples, are highly reflective of infrared light and are recorded as white by the digital camera and infrared filter. Clouds become wonderfully expressive and often the sky is quite dark, key features of an infrared image. Infrared light also creates a flawless porcelain look to skin. This is why infrared photography is so attractive to the wedding photographer. The way that infrared light is absorbed and reflected by various surfaces works beautifully to create a compelling image.



Shiloh Palms
Shiloh Palms
© Deborah Sandidge
All Rights Reserved
A timeless black and white infrared image holds a fascination for the photographer and viewer alike. With digital infrared, a classic film look can still be achieved. What’s more fun is that you can photograph contemporary scenes that include color, such as a vivid blue sky with a little help in Photoshop. Infrared gives you the opportunity to photograph at almost any time of day, including midday, which is usually the time to avoid for the color photographer. You can photograph using light sources other than the sun, creating dramatic images even at night.


Cades Cove
Cades Cove
© Deborah Sandidge
All Rights Reserved
A digital camera is very sophisticated, having the ability to capture light not only in the visible spectrum, but in the ultraviolet and near infrared spectrum as well. Camera manufacturers place a "hot mirror" inside the camera to block ultraviolet and infrared light and allow visible light to pass through to the camera sensor.


A digital camera can be modified to capture infrared light, exposure times are normal, and the camera can be hand-held. With this procedure, the hot mirror is removed and an infrared filter is put in place. The camera functions normally, but records in infrared, putting the captivating world of invisible light at your fingertips.


South Beach
South Beach
© Deborah Sandidge
All Rights Reserved
An infrared filter can be used on the lens of a digital camera, but the filter is quite dark, almost black. This means exposure times are much longer requiring the use of a tripod, and software to reduce noise reduction.

Shooting in infrared is an exciting artistic alternative to color photography. Consider rounding out your photography - shoot infrared!

Article by Deborah Sandidge. To learn more about photography, explore the many online photography and Photoshop classes offered here at BetterPhoto.com.


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