Infrared photography with the Hoya R72
Warning: Geeky photography stuff ahead ;)
Some photographers are purists who stay away from creative techniques that can look bizarre or over-processed, but I believe that every photo trick, be it long exposures, HDR, or bokeh (to name a few) has a creative application that it’s just perfect for.
My latest toy is the Hoya R72 Infrared filter.
Disclaimer: I am still learning, so my understanding of infrared photography is pedestrian at best.
The R72 filters out most of the visible light hitting my sensor, allowing only infrared light through. Here is a sample photo of a birdhouse. You can see that, due to the cloudy day, the colours are quite muted and there is little contrast between the house and the surrounding foliage.
Here is the same photo, converted to a quick n dirty black and white.
The same photo again, but the black and white conversion has the yellows and greens amped up, in an effort to simulate that infrared look. It’s noisy, looks over-sharpened, and the birdhouse is still a bit lost.
But… here is that same photo taken in infrared. Because the chlorophyll in the plants reflects a lot of infrared light, and the birdhouse does not, the contrast is dramatic.
The detail and contrast are phenomenal. The colours, especially with the red and blue channels inverted, are surreal and lovely.
Here is the infrared photo converted to black and white. The detail and contrast are far superior to the black and white produced using just photoshop, even with the yellow and green channels raised.
And just for shock value, here is what that shot looked like fresh out of the camera, before processing ;)
I can see some great applications for this technique; waterfalls, foliage, deep blue skies, all of this will take on new life on the other side of my filter. Here are a few more preliminary test shots – can’t wait to take it out for a proper spin this weekend!