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What makes a good/interesting IR photo?

Discussion in 'Night, InfraRed, and UltraViolet Photography' started by Ottrott's Human, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. Ottrott's Human

    Ottrott's Human

    May 21, 2006
    So...having converted a D70 to IR a few days ago I've been driving around taking snapshots to try and get a feel for shooting in IR. I don't seem to have a clear concept of what elements make for a good IR photograph. Can IR alone make an otherwise mundane photo interesting?

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  2. the surrealism alone will make the picture more interesting, But like all pics, a boring pic is still boring.
    Some staples are to focus on landscapes with greenery, blue skies with well lit clouds, Water (shows up quite dark), and people (skin gets super smooth) Also i hear tattoos absorb a lot of IR and will make them stand out against the reflective skin.

    Its also very high contrast because IR doesn't reflect as easily as visible light, Shaded areas will be very dark.

    Also the flash gives off IR aswell, can give some very dramatic lighting easily.
  3. Even if I knew, I imagine I would avoid it. I try to find new things to point the IR camera at. Find my own reasons for using it.
  4. I will post this example to give you an idea as it relates to sky and clouds. Also, the second image I post will give you some ideas about water.

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    Both sky with clouds and water portray well in IR.
  5. Gr8Tr1x

    Gr8Tr1x Guest

    Stuart, I have found that when I'm driving around in the afternoon, with the Sun blazing overhead and the bright conditions make normal landscape photography difficult (you're right between the golden hours), IR photography allows me to take shots that wouldn't normally look good in visible light anyway.

    Normal rules for composition apply of course, but you will find through your own experimentation that cloud filled skies and foliage make great IR candidates. Even overcast skies make for interesting tonal variations. BTW, you may want to experiment with macro IR as well...
  6. Ottrott's Human

    Ottrott's Human

    May 21, 2006
    Thanks for the replies folks.....great example images Gordon. This should be fun. I just have to find time to get out and shoot more until I start getting the hang of it......looking for elements that will pop in IR.

    Thanks again......
  7. I hope this new Ir stuff doesn't take away from your time in the studio with Woody..If it does I am going to tell you all your ir images suck...:tongue:
  8. Ottrott's Human

    Ottrott's Human

    May 21, 2006
    Hey.....it was Woody's studio IR shot of Laura that got me going with this in the first place!! No worries though Eric......A. shooting people is my passion and B. My IR images *will* suck!!!
  9. Matthias


    Apr 13, 2007
    Central Texas

    nice image - here is quick question from a newbie. What is the difference between a post production IR conversion in Photoshop and having your camera converted?

  10. Ottrott's Human

    Ottrott's Human

    May 21, 2006
    Got me. I know nothing about IR photography. I imagine someone else can weigh in with an answer for you though.
  11. If by post production you mean, just playing with a pic in photoshop to make it look IR, then well theres one MAJOR difference

    You Can't accurately emulate Infrared with photoshop!

    You can get a decent looking rendition but its not going to be true infrared, ESPECIALLY for people shots. LAndscapes might be easier to copy (with the exception of Water), But the difference in Skin from IR to visible light isn't predictable enough, it would take hours to clone out all the imperfections, and even then Skin seems to glow under Infrared.

    ITs cheap enough to try out with just a Hoya R72 filter, you don't need to convert your camera to play around with it. (you will just have really slow shutter speeds)
  12. the same things that make a normal image good...

    To me, IR is a tool. There are only so many shots of white trees on a blue sky background in me before I get bored (that's not to say that this effect can't produce fantastic images). To me it still comes down to composition and all of the other stuff that makes a good image good. Here's one that's not obviously IR:

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    I'm not billing this as the most amazingly, stupendously, awesome shot in the history of photography (although I am quite fond of it), but to me, it works as an image regardless of the fact that it was IR. What IR did do, in this situation, was lend a luminousness to the trees (even though they are dark), that I wouldn't be able to get in a visual light photo. In that regard, IR is, like I said in the beginning, just one of the photographers tools.

    It's like HDR processing. It's a tool. It can allow you to produce images that you couldn't otherwise produce, but that doesn't mean you should HDR everything.

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