Infrared Photography

Infrared film photography was labor intensive.  You had to work in complete darkness to avoid spoiling the film, so I had to use a film changing bag in a closet with no lights to load the film.  Then, to be safe, I had to seal the edges of the camera’s film compartment with electricians tape to avoid any light leakage.  That was just to load the film.  The process had to be reversed to unload it.  And then there was the development…

Some digital cameras make digital photography much easier.  With my Kodak P-850, all I needed was an infrared filter, such as the Wratten 87A filter.  The filter is a very dark filter that blocks virtually all light-waves except the infrared waves.  There are a couple difficulties to using one of these filters.  First, you can’t see through the filter, so you’ll need to compose your photo first, then place the filter on your camera after you’ve set up your photograph.  Second, the exposure time is very long, so you’ll need to use a tripod to avoid camera shake.  You’ll also probably have to take several different exposures to find the right settings.

Once you’ve taken the photo, it looks like this:

The pink tint is because the filter isn’t black as it appears to be, it’s actually a very dark red.  Because the pink tint is a little weird, I use Paint Shop Pro to create a black and white version:

Home Infrared

Infrared light is reflected differently than normal light.  The trees and grass appear nearly white and the sky is very dark.  I like the way you get a different perspective of things through infrared photography.

By the way, there are a lot of online tutorials for infrared photography.  You can also create faux-infrared photographs using photo editing software.  Here’s a faux-infrared photo of the Crooked River Lighthouse:

Crooked River Lighthouse

I didn’t use an infrared filter here; it’s all done through manipulation using Paint Shop Pro.

Author: Don Baker

My wife says I make stuff up. While that's probably true I'm going to stick to stuff that's mostly true.

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