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Playing with the infrared camera

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’ve converted my old Canon 350D in to an infrared camera. I’ve located an tripod (still not sure where the Gorillapod got to!), and been out to the Basingstoke Holy Ghost Cemetery ruins to test it out.

One of the main issues I have is framing, as I touched on before. The viewfinder is essentially useless, so I’m guessing at composition. I turned the BW compensation down a load so that they aren’t completely washed out images, but they’re still pretty bad straight out of the camera. Using Lightroom/Photoshop’s auto tone tool brings out the detail a bit at least, resulting in images such as this:


This doesn’t look like what people think when they hear infrared; they tend to think of the blue/pink false colour images. So much so that I had to explain to someone that no, I have not edited it to a weird shade of red, this is what they look like normally. Infrared sits just off the red end of the visible light spectrum, plus red is in the name… I digress.

I had a little attempt at creating the blue/pink false colour images. This is done by reversing the red and blue channels (i.e. instead of red being 100% red, 0% green and 0% blue, it is now 0% red, 0% green, 100% blue), in my case using Photoshop. This results in images like this:


No pink! After playing with a few other images, it seems that you need more diversity in colours to be able to get pink as well as blue. The only picture that really came out with much pink was:


This was perhaps because this tree was still sporting autumnal brown leaves. I think that this is the wrong time of year to be trying infrared photography really- there’s not much variety in colours. I’m looking forward to the spring, and seeing how coloured flowers look!

Without the pink in the blue images, I’m unsure which style of editing I prefer. Minimalist:


Or artificially coloured:


I’m planning on spending a bit more time faffing with camera settings- hopefully I will be able to get some better results through this. Worst case, I just have to wait until spring!

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