Tips On Infrared Photography

Shooting infrared with digital is much different from my early black & white/darkroom days. But, in some respects is somewhat similar, because you still have a thick filter to shoot through. So a tripod is an absolute necessity if you want good, quality (noise free) images. Plants and trees are the most striking components while using infrared. Green leaves tend to reflect more of the infrared wavelengths than that of flesh or masonry. Keep that in mind, and remember that the images will come up ‘red’ on the LCD screen, but you can switch to black & white option inside your camera for a peek at the final image - if you want black & white.

I find that the red makes the image striking, gives it a ‘kick’ and so many of my images that I have shot using Hoya’s Infrared (R72) remain true to their redness. That is one major difference from the early black & white/darkroom days - I can have my infrared and keep my color too!

Keep in mind that flash has little to do with infrared photography, because it does not produce the recordable wavelength. For best results use direct sunlight. Nighttime - forget about it! The photograph of the power plant was a Nikon D200, manual Nikkor 24mm f2.8, w/Hoya R72 filter, tripod mounted, 30 seconds at ISO 100 using self-timer to avoid shake at roughly 3:00 PM. Out of 17 shots this was the ‘one’. Many times there is never a ‘one’. With infrared it is a game of hit and miss. Just don’t get discouraged, it is just fun after all...

Photo credits: Ryan Sartoski.

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April 01, 2011


Infra red using an R72 filter is great fun, I have been using one for years. Some DSLRs do better that others - which just filter out all the IR - my Nikon D40 is one that is OK. It is also helpful to use a lens with good old fashioned barrel markings - being unable to see more that a feint outline of what you are taking also means that you can not focus by eye once the filter is on.

March 31, 2011


tnks for the info Ryan.
I cant wait to try infra again. I gota look for my old Hoya r72 now. i had to buy it for phto class some 10 yrs ago! havent used it in since. cant wait!
Thanks again

March 31, 2011


Nice! great photo!

March 31, 2011


yes, infrared is possible with digital SLR (DSLR) but be aware that the filter is impossible to see through. you will have to manually pre-focus and then attach the filter. automatic white balance will give you a red effect, black & white setting will give you the 'normal' infrared image. hoya makes a great infrared filter R72, but it is not cheap!

March 31, 2011


i did not know we could do it like this with digi. i thought we needed a program to convert to infra? So what u r saying is i can use my old r72 filter on my digi camera and the convert to b&w in cam or on comp and have a b&w infra pic??? I would love to shoot infra again last time was in photo class, long time ago.

March 31, 2011


Beautiful photo!

March 31, 2011


nice pic

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