Black and white digital infrared photography has never been more fun than when using yout Nikon d70!. The hidden world of infrared photography opens up freely with your D70 and the right IR filter. It’s so easy, more and more photographers are experementing with this cool effect. Some are even making quite a bit of extra money with this method as well.
If you are the kind of person who likes looking for o2 iphone 4 deals online or for the latest apps that have great capabilities then this is something that will appeal to you. As a technique it is very exciting and you will be delighted with what it allows you to produce. What’s more is that it is becoming more and more popular which means there is a lot of information regarding it.
In fact, I’ve been getting at least 3 requests a week for information about black and white digital infrared photography. Anyway, back to business!
Previously on other pages here, I’ve discussed techniques for making the weird “false color infrared” images but here we’ll uncover how to make your black and white digital infrared images look like classic black and white film infrared shots.
To get a successful black and white digital infrared image, you need to make sure that you make your photo in bright sunlight.
Most of us know that noon-day sun is not the most creative light for making dramatic photos, BUT, high noon is perfect for digital infrared photography!
Because of the way IR light is reflected from surfaces, make sure your image is NOT comprised of an abundance of shade; keep the sun at your back, or at least over your shoulder to capture the infrared rays at the most impactful angle. Foliage, especially from deciduous plants, reflects the most IR, so compose your scene with lots of vegetation for maximum effect.
It bears repeating, but remember to use a sturdy tripod to make your image to avoid disappointments. Even the slightest shake or vibration will be visible at the slow speeds you’ll need to get a good image.
I prefer to shoot in RAW, but I’ve also found that for some lighting situations, JPG works better. I’m not sure why exactly yet, may have to do with the white balance, but it’s on my list to find out. If you shoot RAW, try converting to JPG after you’ve made your adjustments to your RAW file, before making your “normal” enhancements in Photoshop.
How to do it:
Here’s one of my favorite “recipes” for turning your digital images into classic surreal black and white infrared photographs.:
1) Again, if you are using the Nikon D70, set the white balance according to my standard method. Pre-set white balance). But feel free to experiment – the beauty of digital infrared photography is that it costs you nothing to play, unlike film-based IR photography. So waste “film” not opportunity!
2) I really prefer a low ISO, 200 or a maximum of 400. Shooting at late morning, mid day or into the afternoon, my exposures are quite acceptable and grain is minimal even at longer exposures. I always use a tripod or beanbag. I have attempted handheld shots and invariably the images are poor. UPDATE: I’ve sent my old D70 away to be converted to a dedicated IR camera – I should have a complete review and images around the end of June 2006. And if you’re wondering, I did buy a new D70 to replace the dedicated IR one. I know – I’m crazy! (Crazy for digital IR!!!)
OK. Are we ready? We have the scene, we’ve set up our camera, let’s shoot!
Compose your shot, taking the angle of the sun and shadow into account. Mount your IR filter. Set your exposure to +1 EV over your metered value with the filter on. Consider bracketing for best results too. Depending on the ambient lighting, you’ll get significantly different and better results at incrementally different exposures. A third of a stop can mean the difference between great or junk.
– and make your exposures.
Try your composition from various angles and take lots of shots. Remember that mistakes don’t mean you screwed up – it means you’re learning more 🙂
Once your satisfied that you’ve covered your subject enough, it’s time to head to your digital darkroom – or as we diehards like to call it, the computer!
Let’s see how to use post production techniques to enhance and refine our surreal and strange black and white digital infrared images. To the Black and White Digital Infrared Post Production Page