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Infrared (IR) Photography

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For a while now I’ve been fascinated with infrared photography. Now that I have a new studio camera I decided I would have my Nikon D200 converted to infrared. It arrived back just hours before I was to take a short trip that put me at Crater Lake, Oregon for a day. I was able to spend some time taking some IR photos and I love it. For a first attempt I think they turned out better then I expected. I’m sure as I get more experience with this I will find many things I want to improve about my technique. Here are some samples of Crater Lake in IR.
This first example is what the image looks like when I unloaded the RAW file off my camera and into light room. It has some contrast applied and the white balance is set so that green is white (so that pretty much plants, tree, grass is white in the photo). This really shows that plants reflect a lot of IR and there is not much IR in the sky at this angle – the sun is about 90° to my left.

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Here is the same image with a custom camera profile for IR and white balance set so that the sky is neutral grey.

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Here is another photo from the camera with no processing. Uses the default ‘Adobe Standard’ camera profile in Lightroom 2.4

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Here is the same image with the custom camera profile I created and no white balance set at all. I have set this profile as the default for my IR camera so now all images from my D200 are assigned this profile when they are loaded into LR.

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I have quite a few more images from the trip, but those are a few samples. I can see that a custom camera profile for IR will help a lot and I already have some examples of why it’s a good idea to have the custom IR profile and start your post processing from that point. Having said that, I have to say that for the Crater Lake photos I took, I really like the deep red images straight from camera. They have an ‘other world’ feel. I think that first picture is a coral for invisible animals on mars. :-)
I’ll probably post more IR samples soon, and I’m completing a work-flow that I’ll use for IR photography.

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