I want to love infrared photography but...

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
OP Montanawildlives Contributing Member • Posts: 548
Re: I want to love infrared photography but...

petrochemist wrote:

MacM545 wrote:

Probably the most pronounced benefit of IR is that it can, to some extent, see through haze, making it great mainly for astrophotography. I'm a former IR enthusiast; For me personally, IR photography is interesting but it can get boring after a short time. I used an IR filter on my old, unmodified camera, to achieve surreal long exposures, but pretty much the only things that I found to be of true interest in IR have been clouds. I've never tried actual UV photography because I never achieved the budget necessary, but from my research it also seem to get boring quickly once many photos start being taken. Personally, I've been more interested in UV video because not lots of people seem to have tried it. UV video could reveal some interesting stuff, especially at night, such as lightning that perhaps might be invisible to us, and perhaps something paranormal? I've almost never seen anyone use primarily UV for investigations.

UV is really difficult to shoot. Even with a modified camera, UV transmitting lens & stacked filters to transmit UV & block both visible & NIR, there's a tendency for leakage to make so much of the picture that UV effects are hidden. I probably need to spend another £200 on a better filter (BaaderU) before trying again...

To add to the complications UV images are rarely of any interest unless relative close up shots of skin & flowers. Landscapes do not work well in UV. Given the exposure times needed without dangerous UV lighting video is not practical. But I guess for the sorts of investigations your talking about simple unfiltered Full Spectrum would work.

Thanks Mac. By leakage you mean that some visible light (less than 720nm is getting in there even with the appropriate filters, right?  I guess I could exclude that even more with a higher nm filter like a 760 nm or an 850 nm.  Any guess on how much that would affect my exposure (i.e., I'd still be wanting to hand hold).  I do like the idea of isolating the infrared effect, at least at first, and it seems like going black and white and popping on a strong/stronger filter like at least a 720 but possibly even 760 or 850 might be the way to go.

So, to conclude up to this point for those paying attention, here is what I am thinking:

1. Focus on pics with the possibility of interesting clouds (made more interesting in infrared).

2. Try black and white at first.

3. Try a lens filter like a 720 or even 760 or 850 to block as much visible light as possible, making the infrared effect more pronounced/obvious. (still wondering how this would affect the exposure and if I'd still be able to hand hold.  I think so because the original sensor-based infrared filter is no longer there, so I should be getting adequate infrared light signal).

4. On my own, I've also concluded that having something in the photo that looks "normal" is a way to "anchor" the photo that seems pleasing to me.  So maybe it's a red barn that still looks red (combined with white/pink trees and deep deep deep blue sky). Maybe it is an old stone house where the stones are appropriately (visible-light reality) colored, again with deep blue sky and pinkish trees.  Maybe that will keep me from thinking this is all just random color manipulations.

Thanks everyone!

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