Every once in a while I get the urge to play with IR. I know that digital cameras would be very sensitive to Infrared light, but they have an IR blocking filter to prevent such things from happening. I also know that there are services that will remove this filter for you, put in another filter that is very receptive to IR and blocks visible light, and charge you a handsome fee for doing it. I have a spare Canon Powershot camera sitting around that I considered having made into an IR camera, but the upgrade cost more than the camera! $300. Not going to happen.

So, I looked for cheaper alternatives. One way, as I’ve done here, is to simulate it in Photoshop. Boring and it’s just a simulation. I want the real thing! After a small amount of research, I found that there is a filter, an 89B that blocks available light and allows IR through and is the least dense of the IR filters. More dense, and better performing filters are the Wratten 87 and Wratten 87C, both very dense filters requiring very long exposure times.

From what I’ve read, you have to use a tripod because the amount of visible light getting through is almost nil, add to that the camera’s resistance to IR light, and you have some fairly long exposure times, sometimes 2 to 5 minutes!

So, has anyone tried any of these filters? If so, do you have examples? I see that I can get fairly inexpensive IR filters, in the $60 range to try.



Enjoying the art of others