Any of those of you who have experimented with infra red photography on film will know what a laborious process it all was. Film had to be loaded and developed in total darkness. Due to the fact infra red is not part of the visible spectrum,exposures where always difficult to judge.

Thankfully the digital age has made this technique a much simpler operation. One option is to buy an infra red filter such as the Hoya RM-72,which blocks wavelengths from the visible spectrum and allows infra red wavelengths through. This does however require patience and a tripod as exposures can be very long.

The other option is to adapt an existing camera or buy one that has already been adapted.
Most digital cameras are already capable of photographing in infra red but manufacturers use a filter on the sensor to block most of the IR light to improve the quality of the visible light being recorded.

There are a number of companies that sell or will adapt cameras modified to shoot infra red by permanently removing the IR filter. This means modified cameras can capture IR as easily as capturing visible light, no long exposures or special filters needed. Cameras that have been altered in this way however can no longer be used for "normal" photographs. I have an adapted Nikon D80 which I use with a 12-24 zoom. Great for eerie architectural shots and band photos.

I was told recently an adapted 5D Mark 2 had been used to shoot a low budget horror movie,imagine trying to shoot that on film!

Infra red basics

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