Near Infrared images
Near Infrared images


    Near Infrared energy is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum just past the Red segment of visible light. Infrared energy is made up of longer wavelengths than the Red, Green or Blue light so our eyes aren’t capable of seeing its effects. Fortunately some modern digital cameras are sensitive to this longer wavelength and can record its stunning properties.

    Most digital cameras incorporate an infrared blocking filter in front of their sensor to remove this longer wavelength, so not all cameras can be used for recording this hidden world. Because infrared wavelengths are longer than visible light they also bend at a different angle when passing through the lense so we must readjust the focusing when shooting infrared images (focus closer than normal). A special filter is used to block all visible light and only allow the longer near infrared wavelengths to be recorded.

    Not all Infrared images show heat. The ones which do are called thermal infrared images and are generated by recording radiation much farther down the spectrum (longer wavelengths) than the images recorded by consumer or professional near infrared capable cameras.

    False colour infrared composites are generated by showing the Green parts of the image as Blue, the Red parts as Green and the newly acquired Near Infrared information as Red. This composite often shows vegetation as Red due to its high amount of reflected infrared radiation.




Natural Colour Image



Monochrome Infrared Image



False Colour Infrared Composite








Natural Colour Image



Monochrome Infrared Image



False Colour Infrared Composite








Natural Colour Image



Monochrome Infrared Image



False Colour Infrared Composite








Natural Colour Image



Monochrome Infrared Image



False Colour Infrared Composite








Natural Colour Image



Monochrome Infrared Image



False Colour Infrared Composite








Natural Colour Image



Monochrome Infrared Image



False Colour Infrared Composite








Natural Colour Image



Monochrome Infrared Image



False Colour Infrared Composite








Natural Colour Image



Monochrome Infrared Image



False Colour Infrared Composite




      Recording digital infrared images





      Equipment
        - Canon PowerShot A640
        - LA-DC58F filter adaptor
        - B+W 55ES 093 55mm infrared filter
        - Tripod


      Settings for monochrome Infrared images (with infrared filter attached):
        - Colour Mode: B&W
        - Exposure Mode: Manual
        - Shutter Speed: 15 seconds (suggested starting point on a bright sunny day)
        - Aperture: 2.8 (suggested starting point on a bright sunny day)
        - ISO: 80
        - Focus: 50cm (for landscape shots at wide angle setting)
        - Self timer: 2 second delay
        - (Have these settings saved as the camera’s “custom settings” option)


      Settings for Natural Colour images:
        - Same as normal shooting (remove the infrared filter when recording your natural colour image)


      Shooting Procedure:
        - Set up a tripod and compose your image without the infrared filter attached
        - Expose the natural colour image using normal shooting techniques
        - Quickly attach the filter adaptor and infrared filter (bayonet mount to camera body)
        - Set the mode selector to "Custom Settings" and record your infrared image
        - View the image histograms to ensure you have achieved good exposures for the scene



      Enhancing your Monochrome Infrared Image:
        - Open the image in Adobe Photoshop or Corel PhotoPaint
        - Apply a linear enhancement using the “Contrast Enhancement” tool (Corel PhotoPaint)




      Creating a False Colour Infrared Composite:
        - Open your natural colour image and separate it into 3 new monochrome images (Red, Green and Blue)
        - Open your infrared image and convert it to an 8 bit monochrome image (if it isn’t already)
        - Combine your Infrared, Red and Green images to make one new colour image:
          - Infrared in the Red channel
          - Red in the Green channel
          - Green in the Blue channel
          - the Blue monochrome image is not used
        - Enhance each channel to achieve desired results


All images were recorded by: Paul Illsley