Infrared Photography: 10 Styles And Tips Featuring 3 Notable Photographers

infrared photos
infrared photos
infrared photos

The Art of Infrared Photography

Infrared (IR) photography showcases the world using light beyond the visible spectrum, creating surreal and otherworldly images. By using a modified camera or an infrared filter, mundane scenes are transformed into striking, ethereal landscapes, with foliage appearing white and skies becoming dark and dramatic.

Exploring the art of infrared photography involves learning about various components that contribute to its distinct style. This includes practical tips for getting started, such as using IR filters and understanding camera settings, as well as utilizing visual aids like videos to grasp the techniques and achieve desired effects.  For those seeking a broader understanding of photography, exploring the 58 types of photography can provide valuable context on where infrared photography stands among other styles.

For those eager to put their newfound skills to the test, participating in our Ongoing Competitions presents an ideal opportunity to challenge oneself, showcase a unique perspective through photography, and connect with fellow photography enthusiasts. As practitioners of this time-honored art, we consistently seek to uncover its possibilities and encourage others to contemplate its role in the constantly changing world of photography.

infrared photos

3 Notable Infrared Photographers

Notable infrared photographers have made significant contributions to this art form. Their work is characterized by vibrant and surreal landscapes, offering a fresh perspective and a sense of wonder. With expertise in photographing stunning scenes using infrared photography, these photographers have established themselves as prominent figures in the world of infrared photography.

1. Ed Thompson

Ed Thompson is renowned for his wonderful infrared photography, which showcases the world in a unique and mesmerizing light. His work often features stunning landscapes and ethereal, otherworldly scenes that push the boundaries of traditional photography. Thompson’s infrared images offer a fresh perspective and a sense of wonder, making them a true standout in the world of photography. Work Gallery

2. Paolo Pettigiani

Paolo Pettigiani is celebrated for his exceptional talent in representing the world through the lens of infrared photography. His work is characterized by vibrant, surreal landscapes and cityscapes that bring out unseen beauty in familiar scenes. Pettigiani’s infrared images offer a fresh and compelling perspective, earning him widespread acclaim in the photography community. Work Gallery

3. Jason Friend

Jason Friend is a professional photographer known for his expertise in infrared photography, particularly in seizing stunning landscapes and nature scenes using this unique technique. His work showcases a distinct and ethereal quality, often revealing unseen aspects of familiar subjects through the use of infrared light. Work Gallery

5 Stunning Infrared Photography Styles

infrared photos

Experience the beauty of infrared photography through these thrilling styles, each offering a unique and enchanting perspective. From ethereal landscapes to surreal portraits, the stunning visual effects of infrared photography showcase a whole new world of creative possibilities for photographers.

1. Landscape Infrared

infrared photos

In landscape infrared photography, your world transforms into dream-like scenes with white foliage and bright skies. By catching light not visible to the naked eye, you’ll see the breathtaking contrasts between nature and the elements.

2. Portrait Infrared

infrared photos

Portrait infrared adds an ethereal touch to your subject. The skin tones become smooth and otherworldly, while the eyes can seem deep and haunting. It’s a way to portray people in a unique spectrum, giving your portraits a distinctive feel.

3. Urban Infrared

infrared photos

In an urban setting, infrared photography allows you to juxtapose modern cityscapes with the surreal. Stark buildings reflect infrared light in a way that gives them a weightless quality, making familiar streets look alien.

4. Black and White Infrared

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Black and white infrared photography strips away the surreal colors often associated with infrared, concentrating on sharp contrasts and structure. It emphasizes texture and pattern, perfect for a more classic, yet unconventional look.

5. Fine Art Infrared

infrared photos

Fine art infrared takes advantage of the spectrum to craft images that push the boundaries of reality. This style often plays with light and shadow to create compositions that challenge perceptions and offer a unique aesthetic.

5 Essential Tips for Enchanting Infrared Shots

1. The Right Equipment

infrared photos

Your camera may require modifications to capture infrared light, which is invisible to the naked eye. Consider a dedicated infrared filter, like the Hoya 72mm RM-72, which blocks visible light up to 720nm and is compatible with most digital cameras. Some cameras may also need an internal filter removal.

2. The Light Spectrum

infrared photos

Infrared photography involves light beyond the visible spectrum, typically from 700nm to 900nm wavelengths. Familiarize yourself with your camera’s sensitivity range and select filters accordingly, such as the B + W 77mm Infrared Filter, which blocks all but the infrared light above 900nm.

3. Shooting Conditions

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Unlike standard photography, infrared images often benefit from indirect light. An overcast day may yield better results than bright sunlight, emphasizing the ethereal quality of the infrared spectrum without harsh shadows.

4. Composition and Contrast

infrared photos

Infrared photography transforms green foliage into bright tones, while blue skies and water appear darker. Use this to your advantage by contrasting greenery with man-made structures, or incorporating water for a range of dark shades, adding depth to your images.

5. Exposure Experimentation

infrared photos

Start with baseline settings, such as ISO 800, aperture f/5.6, and 15-second exposure, and adjust based on the histogram feedback. Each infrared setup can behave differently, so experimentation is key to achieving the desired exposure for your enchanting infrared shots.

Infrared Photography: Top Takeaways

infrared photos

Infrared (IR) photography refers to a unique type of photography that reflects the infrared spectrum of light, which is beyond what the human eye can naturally see. You’ve discovered how to select proper equipment for IR photography, including cameras that can detect IR light, and the use of filters with specific cutoff frequencies such as 665 nm or 830 nm. Key techniques have been explored, showing you how to adjust camera settings and modify your approach to lighting and subjects to create dramatic images with varied hues and contrasts.

Building on your understanding, remember to consider the spectrum of light that ranges from around 700 to 1200 nanometers when setting up your shots. And now, enrich your photography by participating in our Ongoing Competitions that challenge and showcase your newfound skills. These competitions are ongoing and provide a platform for you to connect with a community of photo enthusiasts, gain feedback, and further refine your technique.

Extra Lessons

The Mastery and Magic of Infrared Photography

How to School Infrared Photography

Infrared Photography Tutorial

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