Infrared Photography: 2 Ways To Modify Your DSLR

Infrared photography is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas of photographic art, and there are many ways in which you can shoot IR frames. However, if you have a DSLR camera and you are not willing to invest in state of the art equipment designed especially for infrared photography, then you should know that you can easily convert your camera.

infrared photo with modified dslr

Photo by Mathieu Bertrand Struck; ISO 100, f/6.3, 30-second exposure.

Here are two ways to modify your camera for infrared photography:

Get An Opaque Infrared Filter

This is by far the easiest, cheapest, and the most efficient way to shoot in infrared mode. Opaque infrared filters are readily available at almost every specialized store, and the results are impeccable. However, in order to achieve the best results you will have to practice a lot with your opaque infrared filter. Simply place it in front of your lens and start to shoot.

infrared photo using filter

Photo by Neal Wellons; ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/400-second exposure.

It is essential to properly adjust the camera settings before you place the filter in front of the camera. Make sure to set the composition right before you start shooting, just to prevent grab shots and to get the best image quality available.

The main benefit of using the infrared filter to shoot IR photos is that this method is temporary; you can convert your camera whenever you want without worrying about permanent results. Besides this, the opaque infrared filter is also more cost-effective and the entire process is basically a do it yourself project that you can do without the assistance of a professional.

modifications to dslr for infrared photography

Photo by Victor Sassen; ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/250-second exposure.

Detach The IR Cut Filter That Comes With Your DSLR

Every digital camera nowadays has a special filter that is designed to block infrared light. By removing that internal cut filter (ICF) you can basically convert the camera and use it exclusively for IR photography.

In a nutshell, you have two options: you can either remove the filter yourself (which is not recommended unless you are truly experienced with DSLRs, otherwise you might permanently damage the camera) or take it to a local professional who specializes in camera conversions. The service can cost a few hundred dollars. These professionals will remove the filter and replace it with a special glass.

Either way, it is essential to keep in mind that this will permanently convert your camera.

These are the most common and efficient ways to modify your DSLR camera for infrared photography.

About the Author:
Swee Shiong Chong writes for sgeastphoto dot com, a photography blog on techniques and equipment that is used in creating all types of photography from around the world.

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