Playing with Infrared


Yesterday would’ve been a terrific day for shooting infrared shots — lots of dramatic sun and big bold storm clouds. Today though, we have a wintry sky, with not much definition. Nonetheless, I decided to play.

I’ve enjoyed shooting with my IR filters on the 10D, although I was always put out by the pink or red cast (depending on which IR filter I owned at the time) that all the shots had. In fact, I had both a Hoya R72 and a B+W 093, but found I couldn’t autofocus with the B+W, so I sold it off.

Enter the 20D, and a new black and white mode that got me to thinking. What if I shot using the black and white mode, and the IR filter?

I only have one IR filter — a 58mm Hoya R72 — so that kinda limits what lenses I can use. Only my 50/1.4 and my 105/2.8 macro sport 58mm threads, so I loaded up the 50/1.4, and shot test shots without the filter in black and white mode, with the filter in black and white mode and with the filter in color mode…. with very interesting results.

Black and White
Black and White Infrared

I kinda expected both black and white shots to be close to identical — I’d just not seen that many differences when shooting with the IR filters. However, what I discovered was that the IR/BW photo showed trees and ivy with bright white colors, rather than their darker colors. In particular, note the small pine tree and the ivy near the center of the frame. This is a bit of a revalation, and has whetted my appetite to try this experiment again, with more difference in the sky, and with many more trees and shrubs.

I guess I have more experimenting to do!