Infrared Filter versus Converted Camera

Image made with a Canon 40D converted to infrared. Murrisk Abbey, County Mayo, Ireland

I got a chance to use a friend’s infrared camera on a recent trip to Ireland. One big difference between a modified camera and using an infrared filter stands out.  The modified camera still works like a camera with auto focus, fast shutter speed, etc.

There’s no way I could photograph hand-held with an infrared filter.  The filter is very dense so it’s completely black.  That means a long shutter speed every time with the camera on a tripod.  That also means there’s no auto focus.

To take a photo with an IR filter, we have to pre-focus, screw in the filter, turn off auto focus, shoot and then experiment with the exposure until it’s right. Often the exposure is 4 or 8 minutes!

An advantage of the IR filter, though, is I can use it on any camera I own.   I can also  share the filter with other photographers.  The filter is small so it takes up little weight in my camera bag.  These are all positives.

Yet, the joy of picking up the infrared camera, taking a photo, and moving on was sheer delight. IR photograph was just like regular photography.

The gallery below contains images taken with an infrared filter. All exposures are 8-minutes long.

Compare the above with these images taken in an infrared converted camera. I’m using a Canon 40D converted to infrared.

Notice the difference? What do you think?

Infrared Filter in Ireland

I had the pleasure of using the Singh-Ray Filter 830 Infrared Filter during my recent photo tour to Ireland.  It was great to get to play with the filter and use it in a variety of settings.

(Please see my previous posts on Singh-Ray Infrared Filters.  Canon users need to use the 830.  Nikon users can use either but Canon cameras need the 830.)

All the images below are 240 second exposures, ISO 400-800, and f/stop of f/9 to f/22.  In my experimentation, I’ve learned that you start with one exposure as above.  Take the photo and then check the histogram.  More exposure is needed if the histogram doesn’t hit the right side.  Less exposure is needed if the histogram spikes up the right side.  Be prepared for some trial and error.

Carrickahowley Castle KAC2738
Infrared filter, of Grace O’Malley’s Castle; Carrickahowley Castle;  County Mayo, Ireland.  240 second, f/9, ISO 800.

In

Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic Coast, Achill Island, County Mayo, Ireland
Achill Island, County Mayo, Ireland.  Atlantic coast.   Exposure as above.

Infrared Ireland KAC0899
Murrisk Abbey in County Mayo, Ireland.  One of my favorite images from the trip.  The green trees are white as snow.  Same exposure as above.

 

Infrared Ireland KAC0900
Famine Memorial, County Mayo, Ireland.  The ship seems to be sailing off into a bleak and snowy environment.  Same exposure as above.

Please read my previous posts on using this filter.  It is a great tool and could be just what you need to add a bit of creativity to your photography.

Singh-Ray Infrared filters.