YES! IT IS THAT EASY TO MAKE SURREAL PHOTOS!
Taking surreal photos using infrared techniques guarantees your photography will receive more attention and stand out from the crowd!
And I’m totally thrilled that my old Nikon D7o is a very decent camera for digital infrared photography. (Alas, I think it’s the last Nikon camera to take outstanding IR photos without having to be converted. All the new Nikons, the D300, D800 included are not great at using IR light, with an IR filter – you’ll have to get them converted if you want to use them for digital Infrared photography.)
Although I’m still playing with all the possibilities, my impressions here are continually being formed and reformed! Some of the technical aspects of making surreal photos with infrared techniques are discussed by Bjørn Rørslett but for the practical scoop, the stuff you want to know to take spooky infrared (IR) photos right now, keep reading!
While there’s always more than one way to take digital infrared shots, using the D70’s native capabilities produces the best results. With the right camera filters, and this practical D70 tutorial, you’re already there! (Be sure to read about how to convert your old D70 to a dedicated infrared camera as well. Say good bye to that tripod, and hello to infrared portraits!)
The right stuff: camera filters for surreal photos
First, as always, you’ll need the right equipment. This will be one of a variety of IR filters to block as much visible light as possible for your camera – for all practical reasons I recommend a Wrattan 89B (or equivalent, Hoya R72 for example). This will make sure that only the invisible light gets through to the camera sensor.
These special effects filters aren’t too expensive, and you can generally find them at any good photography supplier. And, of course, you’ll need your sturdy, lightweight tripod.
Because the almost-black IR filters force you to use longer exposures, a tripod is a very real requirement!
Things to be aware of with the Nikon D70
Camera filters can be a problem for this camera. One thing that you really need to be aware of with the D70 is that with the 18 – 70 mm zoom lens it ships with, is susceptible to vignetting – the phenomenon where the outer corners of your image are noticeably darker than the rest of your images.
This is because of the construction of the lens, and it most noticeable at the wider zoom ranges (towards the 18mm-end); and more evident at the wide-open aperture of f/3.5.
What has this got to do with surreal photos and infrared photography filters?
Well, plenty! Since you MUST use a filter to capture the IR light, you can reduce the vignetting considerably by carefully choosing the format of the IR filter.
So rather than using a round, screw-in filter, I have found very acceptable results with a square filter and filter-holder. The filter itself extends way beyond the diameter of the lens, so there is less impact from the “shadow” of the thread mounts which are non existent in the slide-in type filters.
If you choose to use the Cokin Filter System , make sure you slide it into the slot closest to the camera lens (the filter holder has 3 slots – use the very skinny first one closest to the lens to ensure you block out as much visible light as possible – or else you’ll get all sorts of weird color shifts!)
[easyazon-block align=”left” asin=”B0006ZSRC2″ locale=”us”]Cokin Filters a P Series 89B Infrared filter. I got mine from Amazon I was impressed with their selection and prices – even when paying in Canadian mini-bucks! Step by step guide to taking surreal photos using the Nikon D70 – learn how to use Custom Settings to take better digital infrared photos. My (one of many) Recipes for Digital Infrared Photos with the Nikon D70 – how to put it all together. What to do next with that weird looking image in your camera??: post processing techniques in Photoshop – a complete D70 Tutorial. ~
Converted Nikon D70 – Gallery of surreal photos (Finally, I have a few – take a look! More also coming, as I refine some new techniques)
[easyazon-link asin=”1598633554″ locale=”us”]David Busch’s Digital Infrared Pro Secrets[/easyazon-link]
[easyazon-link asin=”0936262508″ locale=”us”]The Art of Infrared Photography[/easyazon-link]