Tutorial : Infrared photography with a canon

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zardo's avatar
By zardo

Recently, some new of you asked me: " how I made my infrared photos ? ". Others wanted that I made a tutorial on this photographic method. Thus here is a small guide to help you to realize your infrared photos.

In a first time, I have to indicate you that this tutoriel will apply only to Canon cameras. I know that Nikon gives better results with the infrared but the purpose of this guide is to help you to obtain an effect so nice.

So, What is the Infrared ?</u>

The Infrared show us a world that we can't see without a filter.

The Infrared gives the possibility to have a thermo effect. It is what you can see in these photo : white trees/clouds and some colored skies.

As I said higher, it's impossible to see infrared light without the filter. We can only see this effect with the filter.

Now the camera :</u>

Before, with the film camera, this method already existed. It was very difficult to obtain a good result and in 90% of the cases, the effect was missed or the film was burned.

Now with the digital camera, it is more easier and you can try and try again. However, it is not so easy ! The digital camera have an infrared blocking to have a beautifuler photo with some great colors.
Here, you have the possibility to remove this blocing-lens but for my part I ddidn't altered my camera.

So, How it works ?</u>

Ahah ! In a first time you need the more important piece on your camera : the infrared filter ! For my part, I use the Hoya R72. It is a good filter but there's some others.

Secondly, you need to know your camera. For the canon, the parameters depend from a camera to the other one. I spoke with some people who have a canon eos 300/350/400D and it is more easy to have a good effect with these models. I use a conon 30D and it is more difficult. But not impossible ! :D

After the filter, you need a tripod. Yes, the infrared photo need to be taken in a long exposure. So if you don't use a tripod, it will be difficult to don't move.

When you put the filter on your camera, you can't see anything. So you need to make the clarification before put the filter.

So you have your camera, your filter and your tripod, What to do now ???

First the ISO</u> : I always work with an ISO of 200 maximum to take my infrared photos. If you put it higher, you have a risk of noice on your photo.

Second : the function</u> : Work in all manual functions. In this way, you can control all the parameters of your camera. Put the speed on a long exposition of 25 or 30 seconds (it depends of the light). And take a maximum opening : F 2.8 or F 3.5

Use the timer if you have one.

The first step is to change the White balance. Take a photo of the green lawn or of the blue sky. After that keep the green lawn or blue sky as white balance.

Take your photo with : iso 200 / 25 seconds / F3.5 / timer / white balance personalized.

You have now a brunette photo. The effect is really good but you can have some different effect in post treatment.

The post-treatment :</u>

For the post-treatment, I use photoshop cs2. First open your field. Second edit the level and the contrast. After that use the : Image > Adjustments > Channel mixer. You see in first the red channel. The red is on 100 and the green/blue on 0. Change the red --> put 0 and the blue --> 100. After that, go to the blue channel and put the red on 100 and the blue on 0.

If the white is a little bit red, you can go to Image > adjustments > Hue/saturation and lower the saturation of the red channel.

And voilà ! You have your Infrared photography. :boogie:

Here are some examples :

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Help-me a have a canon eos 1100d with Roya R72 and I do wb and long time in my camera anda i dont have IR photo?
1100d does not do IR photos?
Mrpiraten's avatar
hi! :D
Great tutorial been looking for this:D
but i wondering if u can link a IR photo without edit and the photo u use to your white balance?

Thanks allot! :D
webworm's avatar
Thanks for the tutorial. Found it via [link]
rock29's avatar
nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon

ok maybe canon on a bad day like when i forget my NIKON but, the only day i did not have mine is at birth
but i like the news
persona-grata's avatar
You're so kind to explain us the infrared treatment. It's helpful. Thanks a lot!! :aww:
Joelarts's avatar
thank you....i'm new at photography and this tutorial really helps...i'm getting myself an infrared filter asap. :)
pyt0's avatar
Good tutorial, nice and clear :#1:
AMHolly's avatar
I love your work. This tutorial is inspiring. I am very new at photography. It is something I have always had a passion for. Currently I have for family pics a canon powershot A710 IS & Canon Rebel 2000 EOS 35mm. Would I be able to create such effect with those cameras?
Skittles-the-Monkey's avatar
awesome, i gotta get me one of those!!!!!!!
Karottka's avatar
nice tutorial :)
bransuwandrei's avatar
Hey, can I ask you how work will the effect of IR filter with canon 40D? b'coz I'm quite interested in IR..
rhezha's avatar
nice tutoriall.. thankss..
simulshah's avatar
RIP489's avatar
nice I must try this with my 400D...but how is it in winter pics?
Flowing-Crunchy's avatar
That's pretty cool! I remember using a pair of infra red binoculars in the army :) maybe one of the sweetest things you could ever own in my opinion.
Beloff's avatar
The Most serious resource about IR
AlanHudson's avatar
I have a question. I have both, a Canon 400D (XTi) and a Canon 30D and I was wondering what size of filter to get? I've been looking into infrared for a couple of months now, but I've been afraid to get anything because of whether or not it will fit. Do I get 55mm, 58 mm, 62 mm or what? Thanks for the tutorial. Great work!
zardo's avatar
what is the mm of your lens ?
emberdragon's avatar
Awesome, now i want to go do that.. Great tips, thanks!!
Ocean-wings's avatar
I've been looking for this... Thank you!
bada's avatar
Super tutorial, vraiment interessant puisque j'ai un Canon... Par contre, pour le R72, ou est ce que tu as pu le trouver???
crywolf88's avatar
genial et tres bien expliqué t'est au top zardo :blackrose::blackrose::hug::blackrose::blackrose:
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