Digital Infrared Photography

In pre-digital days I tried a lot of alternative photography techniques. One of my favorites was infrared (IR) photography. Infrared light has longer wavelengths than visible light, and by using special filters or film you could capture interesting dreamlike effects with shifted colors.  Wiki has a thorough article on IR photography.

Since I have so much time on my hands (that’s a joke), I recently decided to delve into the new world of digital IR photography. There are a lot of different options to shoot IR digitally; I decided to get a camera converted with a standard IR filter from Kolari Vision.

This scrub jay helped out by posing for my first attempt.

Infrared photo of a scrub jay

Landscape IR photos often have distinctive white foliage and dark, saturated skies. I was so glad to have the camera with me when George and I visited the UC Botanical Garden. Here’s part of the cactus garden.

Cactus garden. Infrared photograph at UC Botanical Garden

And a twisting oak tree.

P1000106b2 small

Most digital photographers do extensive post-shot adjustment in Photoshop or other programs, and I tried some on this photo of the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park.

Infrared photo of the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers

This is a photo of the same subject, taken with my normal camera.

Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park.

Did you ever shoot infrared using film? Have you tried digital IR?

4 comments on “Digital Infrared Photography

  1. libbyQ says:

    i have never tried digital IR nor have I shot using infrared film but it’s interesting to see these examples. i like the twisted oak tree shot.

    happy to have discovered your blog.

  2. solarbeez says:

    Well, since you know about bees and IR photography, I can ask you this question…Can you see the bees any easier through an IR camera? When they leave my hive, I can follow them only until they get above the dark background of the trees. Once they are skyward, my eyes lose them. I’ve often wondered if an IR video camera would track them better. Any ideas on that?

    • Heidi Rand says:

      No, my IR camera doesn’t makes any difference in terms of seeing the bees. My camera was adapted from a normal digital camera, so I’m still looking through the same viewfinder – it’s just the end result that’s different.

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