Infrared and midday photography

Infrared and midday photography

Midday is normally not the time to put your camera up. Contrasty light is not the best for most color images. Move to infrared and we have a whole new ball game. When the light gets harsh and you add some greenery and clouds, imaging gets good.

Infrared

You can probably find a camera languishing on the shelf that can be converted to infrared. I used a Panasonic GH4. LifePixel Infrared is the company I use and recommend for conversions. Their website is a great source to learn about various infrared conversions. I personally am a fan of the traditional 720 nanometers. Your taste may vary to deep dark IR or even color IR. Study the website to see what options you may enjoy. Just know that having an infrared camera in your kit expands your time of being able to capture interesting photos.

Infrared image straight out of camera with only a black and white conversion.
infrared photo highway 160 Colorado
After working the image to render it more in the infrared world. Pushing contrast, adding a little noise and a bit of a glow on the highlights.

Driving on Highway 160

Traveling in the middle of the day with clouds peppering the sky can be a good time with the infrared camera. When you are making miles and hours in a car it’s nice to have an excuse to stop the car, stretch and make some cool photos.

infrared photo highway 160 Colorado
I enjoy the high-contrast black and white along with how IR renders vegetation turning the chlorophyll laden plants a bright tone.

Red rocks, highway and several layers of cloud were of interest to me. Composition and contrast either make or break IR images.

LifePixel Infrared

Here’s a peek at what the Lifepixel IR website holds for learning about IR options. You’ll find examples of various choices of filter will yield. There are also tips on how to process your files.

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A peek at the front page of the LifePixel website. Tons of information on infrared.

Know that when you use a basic IR filter of 720NM as I do, your files will be magenta if you view them in color. One benefit of current cameras is the ability to change the view on your LCD to monochrome. While this is not how the final IR image will look it gets you closer. FYI, I always capture three exposures. Sometimes it is necessary to take the three images and blend those together for full tonal range before the final processing to infrared.

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Choices abound in the infrared world. Personally I like the traditional BW Standard 720NM filter.

Lifepixel Infrared is not the only camera conversion company. It’s the one I use, and have experience with. Because of that, I became an affiliate. As an affiliate, I do receive a small fee if you use my link to purchase. Kolari is the other major US infrared camera conversion site you can try.

You can see more of my infrared imaging in these articles:

  • Infrared and summertime
  • Infrared photography extends your options

Yours in Creative Photography, Bob