Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

Venturing into infrared photography

I have written a tutorial on infrared photography after I got confident of how to do it properly, and more importantly, post-process the photo properly. Check it out – A Guide to Infrared Photography.

It all started off with seeing infrared photos on the Internet. The white foliage, the dark sky – the dreamy, surreal scene that normal cameras cannot capture, I crave for them. Infrared photos look exceptionally serene and peaceful to me, perhaps it’s because of the necessarily slow shutter speed that renders moving objects almost invisible.

After reading guides and tutorials on infrared photography – such as Infrared Photography from Tutorials2.0 and Taking Infrared Photography from Dynax Digital Forums – I finally tested my Sony Alpha-200 for infrared sensitivity. The good news is, the sensor is sensitive to IR. The next thing in the list will be purchasing the coveted Hoya R72 infrared filter at Peninsula Plaza last Saturday. I didn’t dare to try out the filter until I had time to do more research on how to handle the white balance and etc.

So here’s my first infrared photo, a common scene right outside my room. Click for a larger photo:

My First Infrared - Outside my dorm

My First Infrared - Outside my dorm. f/5.0, 10 seconds, ISO 100.

It’s a view that I am treated with every morning as I leave my dorm for lessons. The weather was almost perfect on Tuesday afternoon – cloudy but bright sky, and occasionally you’ll have the sun peeking out from the corner of a cloud. Using a tripod and a 2-second timer (I am yet to invest on a remote shutter release), I did a rough white metering on a full frame of green foliage – well, in Singapore, we’re never short of trees. Then I proceeded with the actual photo taking.

Of course you can photoshop your way through a normal photo (there’s even a B&W filter in CS3 that allows you to emulate the appearance of a B&W infrared photo), but in order to produce a convincing coloured IR photo, the best way to go is to invest in a decent IR filter. There are cheaper alternatives around, such as the Suntec filter, but I stuck to Hoya R72 due to the great reviews it has been receiving from IR photographers on Flickr.

Here’s a comparison of the IR photo (top), the unprocessed IR photo (bottom left) and the original scene (bottom right). Oh, and it’s my second IR photo, heh.

Difference between a procssed IR photo, an unprocessed IR photo and the actual scene.

Difference between a procssed IR photo, an unprocessed IR photo and the actual scene. f/5.0, 13 seconds, ISO 100.

This photo was taken on a grassy patch outside NIE, facing Hall of Residence 12 and 13.

What do you think of IR photography? If you have any questions regarding IR photography, feel free to ask in the comments – I will be more to happy to help ;)

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