Infrared Photos, Instantly

Create otherworldly images by shooting your photos in infrared
The standard method of creating infrared images is with special red filters that block the visible light but allow the infrared rays through. Film photographers have used this method for years and a number of companies, such as B&W;, Cokin and Hoya, offer IR filters in a variety of strengths and sizes. Technically there are a few challenges such as especially long exposures and potential focusing issues. But with some practice and experimentation, these can usually be overcome. If you have a digital SLR, all you have to do is thread an IR filter to the lens. Some point-and-shoot models also have threaded lenses or accept a lens adapter so you can attach an IR filter. That's the easy way. Don't fret if your point-and-shoot digital camera doesn't have a threaded lens. There are a couple of different ways to attach an IR filter that are fairly simple for DIYers (and if all else fails, you can always just hold the filter in front of the lens). 1. Measure the length of the lens from camera body to the top of the lens when it is extended to its fullest. Press the shutter button half way to see if the lens extends farther when it is focusing. 2. Purchase a lens adapter that is slightly longer than the longest extension of the lens and attach an IR filter to the top of the adapter. Once you're sure the lens won't touch the filter, run glue along the bottom edge of the adapter and attach it to the camera. Alternatively, and following the same measurement suggestions above, you can cut a piece of PVC pipe (or similar tubing), glue in a step-up ring (a threaded ring for attaching filters) to one end so you can attach an IR filter and glue the other end to the camera. Theano Nikitas

Infrared photography, which blocks visible light and captures only the IR spectrum to produce strange, beautiful images like the one above, has been around for more than a century. But it’s become more popular recently, since now anyone with a point-and-shoot camera can easily take these unusual shots. Not all subjects are suitable—some objects reflect part of the infrared spectrum, making them appear white and almost ghostly, so you won’t want to shoot, say, candid family shots. When done right, however, IR can work wonders. Formal portraits, for example, gain a delicate touch. Because IR softens the image, your subject’s skin will be imbued with a smooth glow that effectively hides blemishes and wrinkles. Landscapes, too, take on an ethereal look.

Infrared light can cause color shifts and soft focus, so manufacturers today make digicams less IR-sensitive by installing an IR-blocking filter in front of the sensor. That need not stop you, though. There are a number of methods you can use to make infrared photos launch them here. No matter which one you choose, before long you’ll have a whole portfolio of haunting artistic shots.

Click here for a gallery of tips to get IR pics.