Digital Infrared photography
June 28, 2004 7:34 PM   Subscribe

Shooting outside of our vision. Infrared photography is cool - the world looks surreal. But man, it's a PIA. Just keeping the film at the right temperatures is difficult. So, all of this can be done digitally. I still haven't gotten around to buying the necessary pieces, but in replying to this Ask MetaFilter question, I remembered eric cheng's page. For your perusal.
posted by filmgeek (6 comments total)
No matter what I've tried, digital infrared is just as low-res as the film flavour. Granted, it's more convenient, but despite bracketed focusing, use of a tripod, etc., there simply isn't much detail compared to shooting the same subject without the filter. (FWIW, I'm using a Canon G5 and a Hoya R72 filter.)

I'd be interested to know why this is. Any thoughts?
posted by at 8:41 PM on June 28, 2004


Probably because only the red pixels are being stimulated, and in normal distributions (RGBG) that means only 1/4th the available pixels are receiving any stimulation at all.
posted by effugas at 10:26 PM on June 28, 2004

Also, from what little I've read, you lose a lot of stops - between 7 and 10? - when you take an IR shot. So you also need very bright sunlight, I guess, otherwise things could get a little noisy. But I'm not an expert.
posted by carter at 8:27 AM on June 29, 2004

You lose a lot of stops because most digital cameras have a filter inside them that blocks most infrared. This is because the sensors in digital cameras are normally pretty sensitive to infrared, and this can throw off the colors.
posted by kindall at 10:26 AM on June 29, 2004

If you shoot in fully manual on the G5 you can go for a longer "exposure", which (as long as the camera is steady) will give you a bit more detail. Also, as a cheap test, try the congo blue filters mentioned here, I've had good results with this method. It's easy to tell when you have gone too far if the LCD display gets "grainy". Also tinker with the white balance a bit and you may get more detail. And yes, this only works on bright sunny days, or with IR sources (I just mentioned fireworks on the thread which were awesome last year)
posted by milovoo at 4:51 PM on June 29, 2004

In some of the Sony cameras (and camcorders), there's a night mode where the camera moves the IR filter out of the way and shines an IR illuminator; it looks like night-vision goggles.

Presumably one could use one of those and block the IR emitter for natural-light. The pictures come out of the camera monochrome green, I suppose because Sony thinks that's very l33t, but you could just drop it to straight monochrome.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:19 PM on June 29, 2004

« Older Hegemonkey   |   A grim and fascinating irony. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments