How to take infrared photographs

Get some attractive, unusual and eerie results

Infrared is a type of light, invisible to the human eye, that lies just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum. Unlike the eye, however, most digital cameras are sensitive to infrared, providing us with a means of seeing the invisible.

Infrared photography is used in agriculture, mineral prospecting and ecology because it reveals hidden information. But it's also fascinating for the rest of us because it produces such strange-looking results.

Trees and grass are so bright they almost glow, while blue skies come out virtually black and clouds remain white. The bizarre properties of infrared produce results that are ghostly, ethereal, eerie and other-worldly.

In this walkthrough we've used Corel Photo-Paint X3 to process the images. Other photo-editing suites will offer similar functions, but some entry-level packages don't include the channel-splitting features you'll need in the later steps.

1. First, check your camera can record infrared. Point a TV remote at the lens in a dark room and press a button (on the remote). If you can see a bright spot on the LCD viewfinder, your camera is recording the infrared. Most SLRs can't preview on the LCD so you'll need to actually take a photo.

infrared-1

Step 1

2. To take infrared shots, your camera will need a filter that excludes visible light. A glass filter will set you back about $50; for a cheap alternative, sandwich a circle of gel filter between two second-hand skylight filters from a good camera shop.

infrared-2

Step 2

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mike Bedford

PC Advisor (UK)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?