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Infrared Photography


As we meander through different aspects of photography, from iPhone to pinhole and plastic lenses, to microscopy to macroscopy, it was only a matter of time until we started to look into infrared (IR) photography. Means, instead of changing the scales we are looking at, we change the wavelength we record.

1. Step: Use an infrared filter in front of the lens

Nowadays with digital cameras it is quit easy to make first steps into IR photography, and there are plenty of very good websites explaining all aspects it. Basically those sensors in the digital cameras have a tiny sensitivity to IR light, even the camera manufactures tries to block it out with internal filters. Now with a Hoya R72 infrared filter in front of the camera (which let pass only light with wavelengths greater then 700 nm) and long exposure time (a few seconds to a minute), one gets IR pictures. Our first experiments:

Of course we encountered immediately the two major drawbacks of this method:

  1. Due to the long exposure time one gets pretty noisy images, specially in the blue channel
  2. Blue hot spots on the image

With some Photoshop manipulation it is possible to reduce this effects, and it is an easy start into IR photography, but the result is still not very satisfying.


2. Step: Remove the internal infrared filter of the camera

If one really wants to do IR photography, a camera has to be modified by removing the internal infrared filter. It can be done by yourself of by the company LifePixel.

We decided to go with LifePixel  and have sent them our Lumix G2 for modification. And indeed they did a professional and fast job. We certainly can recommend them.