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.
How to shoot events