There are a couple of ways to shoot infrared images and this is the simplest if not the most efficient. Every digital camera has a filter that is designed to prevent infrared light from hitting your sensor. Infrared light, given the right equipment, is just as visible as the light in our ‘normal’ spectrum, just not to the human eye. However, if you can make your camera see this end of the light spectrum then you can really get some ethereal results. Once your camera sees infrared, leaf-covered trees become a glowing white, blue skies become black and lakes take on the appearance of a deep, dark, tar pit.
These pictures were taken on a Nikon D70 – a camera especially well suited to IR – with a IR filter on the lens. This means that you will be taking a long exposure; most of my images were around the 20-30s mark even in bright sunshine, and then converting your shot to black and white. Don’t forget your tripod. Set your aperture, focus your shot without the filter, switch your lens to manual focus, put on your filter, lengthen the exposure time and don’t forget – check your histogram!
When you take the shot you will see a red/pink image on your screen. To turn it into these magical black & whites you need to do some post-production. Nik Silver Efex 2 is ideally suited to the task. I generally use the the Fine Art filter, followed by just a touch of the ColorEfex Glamour Glow. That combination really brings out the other-wordly aspect of IR photography.