(near) Infrared Photography

Introduction: (near) Infrared Photography

you can be on your way to taking your own ir photographs with a digital camera, $10, and good ol' fashion sunlight!

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Step 1: The Essentials:

the most important items:

-camera (digital better, but not necessary*) with MANUAL controls
-filter; specifically, you will want to start with an IR720 filter, sometimes referred to as ''R72'', ''R720''. i found a brand new one on amazon for $10.50 (included shipping) 
*film cameras can just use ir film

not necessary, but veerryy helpful:

-white balance/grey card 

Step 2: The Physics of It All (skip If You're in a Hurry)

-in essence, a camera is a device for capturing light, a source of electromagnetic radiation.
-there are many different types of electromagnetic radiation, light, microwaves, radio waves, x-rays, etc.
-together, all these different types of radiation make up what’s called the electromagnetic spectrum.
-we measure and classify each type of ‘light’ by wavelength; visible light, the light that you and i can see, ranges from about 400nm to about 700nm in wavelength.

-with ir photography we are interested in wavelengths of light in the infrared; ‘infra’ or ‘below’, so really light ‘below-red’. Hence the R720 filter; we’re blocking out light who’s wavelength is shorter than 720nm.

-your camera is very well adapted to recording ir light. so well, the people that made it have already put a filter in it to block out ir light.
-what you’re attempting to do is only pass ir light into the camera, so it doesn’t have a choice but to record it

Step 3: Let's Get Going!

-throw on your fliter and head outside! (the sunnier the day, the better)
-start out with f.4 and shutter speed around 1/3''sec. exposure time will vary greatly with the amount of light.
-once you've found a proper exposure, your pictures will appear reddish/pink

Step 4: Adjusting Color

ok, from here on out it's all about the white balance/offeset. you can achieve a variety of colors and tones simply by white balancing.

with the SAME settings for proper exposure, set your white balance as you would normally. this will yeild a sur-realistic color pallet effect, and other times a washed out look. it all depends on the amount of ir light (usually effected mostly by cloud cover)

Step 5: Playing With Color

you can also get a yellow effect from your lense by white balancing w/o actually using a white slate. in other words custom white balance the actual picture you're taking. and i'm sure there are many other effects you can produce, i've just yet to find them all

Step 6: Other Tricks

see through clothes? buildings? sadly, no. the ir radiation from heat is far too weak for your camera to pick up. buuuuttttttt you can see through other materials, such as mirrored surfaces, like water and sunglasses

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