Fantastical infrared photography

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January 17, 2013
Fantastical infrared photography.

ThumbnailWhile these stunning images may look like still shots from a J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation, they’re actually the handiwork of “amateur” French photographer David Keochkerian. David’s style of infrared photography is achieved by using a special camera or lens filter to block out all light but the infrared waves. The result is an other-worldly effect where the color is strange and piercing and the quality is celestial and dreamlike.

By taking advantage of nature’s inherent beauty — from trees in bloom to a pond’s reflective properties — vivid tones and striking contrasts come together to produce the sort of magical surrealism that movies are made of. But as any behind-the-scenes creative talent knows, these shots required way more than the wave of a wand to materialize.

Starting off with a D70 IR and an external IR filter and ultimately moving to a 590 nm internal filter for the D700, the photographer was able to capture the images displayed below and perfect them in post-production.

A few tips for those inclined to give IR photography a spin:

  • lush green foliage and the sunny skies of spring and summer are ideal conditions for infrared photography;
  • a tripod and remote are recommended due to extended exposure times;
  • shoot RAW images and adjust the white balance to your preference in post-production.

Take a peek at David Keochkerian’s compositions for inspiration, and check out his complete portfolio for more treatments and styles.

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Have you ever tried infrared photography? What other elements of nature would work well for IR? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Stacey Kole

Stacey Kole is a freelance writer and former magazine editor. When she’s not crafting copy or chasing after her two little boys, Stacey can be found drinking coffee, tea, or anything else with caffeine. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.

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