Photography News

Infrared Photography

April 19, 2012 by David Lye

Over the past 40 years, infrared photography has evolved from a fledgling pursuit to the new choice for progressive photographers. If you are skilled at it, you will find many opportunities to use this medium to either expand your artistic skills or to improve your income as a professional photographer.

When you use infrared photography, you will be creating images by using the infrared light striking your subject, and since this light is invisible to the naked eye, your image will literally show you things in a new light.

How to Get Started

Although the use of digital technology makes it possible to do infrared photography, you should not assume that it is easy to do at least when you first start. For one thing, you will need to use special equipment like the Hoya R72 digicam for infrared photography.

However, if you do not want to learn about the best filters, you can use modified digital cameras that have been specially made for those wishing to capture an image with infrared.

Once you study the many aspects of this kind of unique photography, you will no longer considered it an elusive, even mysterious, photographic art.


There are many applications for infrared photography: artistic, work documentation, investigative photojournalism, and so on.


If you become adept at infrared photography, you can capture wonderful images in black and white. This type of monochrome can be truly stunning.
Infrared photography can allow you to capture and create images that are surreal, mysterious, and even otherworldly. This kind of photography can give you a new kind of artistic expression. You will be shooting traditional subjects in a new and interesting way.

Work Documentation

Apart from its artistic applications, infrared photography can be used for documenting important, work-related information – for example, you may want to take a picture of extensive roof damage or of water intrusion for purposes of making an insurance claim.


If you are doing some investigative journalism, then infrared photographs can help you reveal the naked truth. For example, using infrared photographs, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality was able to show black VOCs emissions coming from gas facilities.

Other Practical Uses

Here are some other uses for infrared photography:

1. Medical diagnosis.
2. Detecting forgeries in paintings or handwritings.
3. Studying deteriorating documents.
4. Military purposes.
5. Scientific applications.


Although the idea of infrared photography is not new at all, many photographers shy away from it because there is a slight learning curve associated with this type of photography. However, you can use it in many ways, either improving your artistic portfolio or your professional credentials. Like any new skill, it takes a little effort to learn, but once you get good at it, you will be a photographer with a highly specialized skill.

David Lye is co-founder of, keen amateur photographer, and avid blogger.

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