Infrared Photography Advices!


I don’t know how it works and what camera I should load it into. Is it okay to load it into a Holga? Or is it preferred to be loaded into an SLR? Is it compulsory to use a red filter to get the ‘infrared’ effect? What will probably happen if I don’t use any filter? I really need some tips and advice on infrared photography before I start shooting, so, kind-hearted lomographers, please spare me some tips and advice! Thank you in advance!

Credits: tomkiddo

written by tomkiddo on 2012-07-01


  1. hewzay
    hewzay ·

    I would love to help but I am currently on the same quest and there seems to be a lot of contrasting information out there!

  2. realrampage
    realrampage ·

    for the camera : it's what you want but with holga you need to calculate the exposure time or like me with my smena , freestyle but a lot of loss , with a slr in auto mode the cam calculate for you (it's my choice)

    the filter : you need a infrared filter for the "infrared glow" classic without it's just a expensive B/W film ^_= with red no IR filter you cannot obtain IR effect (my choice cheap IR FILTER cokin system )

    I use EFKE IR820 AURA in Nikon FG20 slr with ir filter cokin setting 100 iso . example :…

    i let the pro give you some other and best info ;)

  3. realrampage
    realrampage ·

    I forget you need to load totaly in dark and classic put your roll in fridge necessarily ;)

  4. asharnanae
    asharnanae ·

    Yeah, you'll definitely need a filter to get the glowing plants. I have only shot one test film, and because it was early in the year, with little green stuff for the glow, and a hazy cloud sky, it was tough to see if I had got a true IR effect. I used my pentax slr, but I think it might be easier to use a camera where you are not looking though the lens, as you have to keep removing the filter to compose and focus the shot!

  5. nerpman
    nerpman ·

    It's a slow process, but totally worth it. If you want the look of glowing plants and black sky, an opaque filter is the way to go. I use a Hoya R72 on an SLR with tripod. Something like a Holga or LC-A would just look like normal B&W photography. The Hoya filter is expensive new but there's lots of used ones out there! I start by composing the image without filter on a tripod, then once I have the scene set the way I want I put on the filter. You will notice a tiny red dot on your lens barrel, this shows how you need to adjust focus for infrared. For example if you had the scene focused for infinity, you would now need to move the infinity marker to the red dot rather than leaving it in the middle. Once you have focus set, it's time for the tricky part: metering. Every scene is slightly different depending on the sunlight and how much infrared radiation is reflected by the objects you're taking a picture of. Try taking a frame each while metering at ISO 25, 50, 100, and 200. Write down the settings you used for each picture so you can figure out what worked and what didn't after development! Cable release or self-timer is a must, shutter speeds get pretty slow with the IR filter. That's my process in short, if you want to know anything else just send me a message, good luck and have fun!

  6. nerpman
    nerpman ·

    Oh and as someone mentioned before, the film can't be exposed to light. At all. Even if the end sticking out of the canister gets exposed, you'll have strange light-leaks all over. They're not light-leaks in a cool Lomographic way! The hardest part for me was loading my camera in the dark, it's worth it to practice that first.

  7. tomkiddo
    tomkiddo ·

    @nerpman is it really that sensitive to light? i once took the film out of the canister, would anything happen to it?

  8. gauthierdumonde
    gauthierdumonde ·

    Hi, I use efke aura820 120 film, It's light sensitive, I always load it in very subdued light, and i always have small light leaks at the sides. This one is taken with a Fuji GW690 and a Hoya R72 filter. I meter IR film always at ISO 6. So you will need a tripod . I also mount Hoya filters on Holga Pinhole cams. You don't have to meter, the reciprocity failure requires you to use reallong exposures, between 3 and 5 minutes. . I wrote a blog entries about IR and pinhole,….

    By the way: IR and a rangefinder work well together. Because you dont have to remove the filter to compose your shot :). Yes I am lazy dude.