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Infra-Red – Part one.

I have been waiting all year for these…

Last year, I bought a couple of rolls of Rollei IR400 from AG Photographic, having read a bit about the crazy effects of infra-red photography.

Shooting Infra-red

Sadly this does not let you see through people’s clothes as some rumours suggest. What these films are sensitive to is Near Infra Red light, with wavelengths between 700-900nm. They will function as a normal film, most have a fairly standard panchromatic sensitivity, but the fun comes when you use a filter to take some of these normal wavelengths out.

When shot with a very dark red filter,anything below red is filtered out, so the bulk of the exposure comes from these red wavelengths. Using a red filter with normal black and white film deepens increases the contrast, darkening blue skies and green foliage, and lightning tones where there is a red constituent.

Infrared monochrome image of the River Calder at Sowerby Bridge
River Calder at Sowerby Bridge – Praktica TL-5B and Rollei Retro 400S

The Rollei Retro 400S used in this image has an extended red sensitivity, so the red filter has accentuated this in this image. Note how this has darkened the sky and the water, whereas the tan of the stone built mills remains light.

When you use a special infra-red filter even the visible red is blocked, resulting in the exposure coming largely from these NIR wavelengths. This means that subjects which reflect more of these wavelengths expose more and appear lighter on the image. Famously foliage becomes white, the so called ‘Woods effect’. Continue Reading “Infra-Red – Part one.”