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Shoot digital infrared images in 6 easy steps

Added on Tuesday 27th of February 2007 01:20 am EST



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As we discussed in the article “Create splendid infrared images with a simple mix” in this issue of Inside Photoshop, you can use the tools in Photoshop to transform an ordinary photo into an extraordinary infrared image. However, if you’re a digital photographer and want to shoot infrared, we’ve outlined six tips for you to use to get started shooting infrared imagery.


Step 1: Get an infrared filter


Standard digital cameras don’t all capture infrared light. Since infrared light can degrade the quality of visible light, many cameras actually add an infrared-blocking filter in front of the CCD or CMOS array. So, if your camera doesn’t capture infrared light, you’ll need to add an infrared filter. By adding an infrared filter to the front of your lens, you’re forcing the camera to capture the infrared as visible light.


Step 2: Balance to white


Once you’ve added an infrared filter to your lens, you’ll want to reset the white balance of your camera. This way, the image looks a little more natural, though it will feature odd colors. Refer to your owner’s manual for this procedure. However, if you’re shooting a landscape scene as an infrared shot, it’s best to set the white balance to the grass, or some sort of vegetation. For cityscapes, consider using a sidewalk or the side of a building.


Step 3: Keep things steady


Since the infrared filters are so dark, you’ll either need a tripod to hold the camera...