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Quick Tips - How to Take Infrared Photos Without Modifying Your Digital Camera

Photographers who are more into Infrared Photography normally modifies their digital camera to better suit their needs. Digital cameras has an Infrared filter located in front of their sensor to cut off infrared rays and thus prevent them from entering the digital sensor and deteriorating image quality. However this very filter becomes the greatest handicap when attempting infrared photography. So the trick is to open the camera and remove the Infrared filter manually so that the camera could better capture infrared rays.

infrared photography tips
Photo By Zach Stern

However this trick is certainly not for everyone, especially if you are not that much into infrared photography and only wish to give it a try. It clearly does not make sense to get the camera modified and it also deteriorates the quality of non infrared images taken with it. Let us discuss how we could take infrared photos without physically modifying the camera.

It is to be understood that even with the infrared filter in place a small portion of the infrared radiation makes it into to sensor. The idea is to capture whatever infrared radiation there is in the scene by preventing all other waves except the infrared spectrum from entering the cameras sensor. This is achieved by attaching an Infrared Passing filter in front of the camera lens. This filter blocks all other light rays and let infrared rays pass through. The Hoya 77mm R-72 Infrared Filter is one of the most popular infrared passing filters now available in the market. 

Infrared Photography Tips

infrared photography tips
Photo By Zach Stern

1. Setup you camera on a sturdy tripod - as the use of Infrared passing filter will cut off most of the light making unusually long exposure periods necessary even for brightly lit scenes, having the camera on a tripod is essential to prevent camera shake.

2. Use Low ISO - use low ISO settings so as to reduce noise in the scene.

3. Compose your shot, Focus and Shift to Manual Focus - once the filter is attached it will be very difficult to see through the viewfinder, so firstly compose your shot and focus on the right elements, then shift the camera to manual focus so focus remains constant.

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