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Digital Infrared Photography - A Cut Above The Rest

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Author: Connie Fillmore

Do you know what infrared is all about? Infrared is a spectrum of light further than that which you normally see. If you wish to take "infrared" pictures all you need to do is filter out the visible light and allow the infrared spectrum all the way through to the lens. The best you can do is use a Wratten filter, which you can avail from any professional camera shop. These Wratten filters are very dense filters, nearly opaque in appearance.

Digital infrared photography has revolutionized the art of photography in the recent past. The film or CCD sensor is sensitized to infrared light in infrared photography. In this type of photography the wavelengths vary from 700 nm to about 900 nm. An "infrared filter" ensures that the infrared (IR) light pass through to the camera but obstructs the entire observable light spectrum.

The moment these filters are clubbed with the infrared-sensitive film or sensors, the in-camera effects can be achieved. Like for instance the false-color or black and white images with an illusory or sometimes garish appearance. This happens mainly because of the foliage strongly reflecting in the similar way light is reflected from snow. What else the infrared photographs does is that it produces very dark skies and dispersion of atmospheric mist, brought about by reduced Rayleigh scattering and Mie scattering in the environment in contrast to visible light.

The things you should consider in digital infrared photography are as follows:

- Focus, once the filter is put on.
- Now, all that is needed is to lay the infrared filter in front of the lens.
- You need to enable the manual exposure mode to get the proper exposure.
- Remember to rest the camera to a higher ISO rating than standard.
- Finally, when you are through with your infrared shot and you want certain manipulations, you can do it with the help of any image editing Software. Whether you want to remove the color, balance the image levels, sharpen the edges or even make it look grainy or add edge glow, all can be done via such software.

Setting your camera to B&W mode is a safer option as infrared filters get rid of most of the usable color information. Make sure that the incandescent lamps don't put out much infrared. You may come across another problem, as you'll find out that when you filter all the visible light, exposure times will be quite extensive.

You can convert an appropriate digital camera for digital infrared photography. But factually speaking, it makes more sense to leave any camera conversions to experts to be in safe hands.

Digital infrared photography, no doubt adds a new dimension in the world of photography.

About the author: Connie Fillmore is a successful writer and publisher of photography related issues, for more informative articles go to

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