10+ Infrared Photography Styles You Need to See

Dive into the unseen world of infrared photography, where colors transform and reality is reimagined. But wait until you see...
Date Published
March 3, 2024

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Ever snapped a photo only to think, "Meh, seen it a thousand times"? Hold onto your hat because we're about to deep-dive into a world where the ordinary is nothing but. I'm talking about infrared photography, a land where green foliage turns snowy white and the sky pours out shades of otherworldly beauty. You're not in Kansas anymore, where what you see is what you get—nope, this is a place where trees could pass for Christmas in July, and every landscape is waiting for its big break into a sci-fi blockbuster. Ready to learn how to flip the visual script with IR photography basics? Buckle up, 'cause this ain't your grandma's photo album; it's infrared photography, and by the end of this, you'll wield your camera like an artist with a wild, new palette.

What exactly is infrared photography

Infrared photography—sounds like it's straight out of a sci-fi flick, am I right? But hold on to your hats, 'cause this is a style of photography that takes your usual snap-and-go pics to a whole new level. It's all about capturing light that your plain ol' eyes can't see. We're playing with wavelengths, my friends; specifically, the ones just outside the visible spectrum that your typical camera sensor won't give two hoots about.

Ever wondered why those IR snapshots look like they belong in a frostbitten wonderland? Here's the scoop: regular cameras are all about visible light, but infrared cameras—they prefer the heat. They're into the infrared wavelength which typically hangs out between 700 nm to 900 nm. It's like having a VIP pass to the hottest (literally) scenes out there.

Alright, now you know that infrared photography is not just regular photography with a weird filter slapped on it. It's science, it's art, it's capturing the invisible warmth of the world around you! So, you need some special gear to get in on this action. An IR filter or a converted camera, and BAM! You’re on your way to creating some truly unique art that will make your friends go, "Whoa, how'd you do that?!" With these tools, the world's your otherworldly oyster.

The history and origin of infrared photography

Who invented infrared photography? Drum roll, please... The grand title goes to Robert W. Wood, an American physicist, who first experimented with infrared photography back in 1910. His pioneering work opened the doors to a whole new enchanting world where the unseen became seen—literally!

Now let's dive into the cool stuff. Back in the day, infrared photography started as a tool for scientific and military use, because who wouldn't want to see the enemy hiding in the bushes, right? But soon, creative brains realized, "Hey, this can make some pretty nifty art!" And thus, infrared photography found its way into the hands of artists seeking to capture the invisible light that our naked eyes just can't see.

Speaking of art, if you're itching to add a twist to your snaps, infrared photography's got your back. Imagine trees with snowy-white leaves instead of green, or skies that transform into a unique palette of colors. Fascinating, isn't it? You'll be like a magician revealing a parallel universe, and who wouldn't double-tap that on Instagram?

So, here's a hot tip: get yourself an infrared filter or a modified camera, head out on a sunny day (because IR loves sunshine like peanut butter loves jelly), and watch the world glow in ways you never imagined. Farage your way through foliage to see it pop in surreal contrast, or capture architecture that now looks like it's from a dream.

Infrared photography didn't just pop up overnight, it's got history, it's got science, and man, does it have style. Whether you're a history buff or an artsy soul, diving into infrared will give your work a timeless, almost mythical, vibe that's bound to turn heads and spark conversations. Go on, get to snapping the unseen. It's history in the making!

Bridal infrared photography

So you're into wedding photography with an IR twist? Oh, you're about to add a level of cool to those wedding snaps that'll make all the cake in the world seem bland. We're talking otherworldly allure with bridal infrared photography. What's that, you ask? It's that magical technique that lets you take ethereal wedding pics that look like they're straight out of a midsummer night's dream.

This style takes the special day to an enchanting realm where the usual whites and creams of a traditional wedding gown glow with an intense, surreal light against a contrasting dark background. The result? Achingly romantic - almost like love measured in megapixels.

Now, if you want your bridal shots to scream unique, here's the deal: foliage turns to a dreamy white or bright red, skies can go dark as midnight, and all that traditional green? Poof! It's like a black-and-white photo walked into a fantasy novel. Want to jump into this world of whimsy? Get ready to capture moments that'll have everyone feeling the love fuzzies.

But hey, it's not just about pointing and shooting. To nail those gloriously haunting IR shots, you've gotta get cozy with a few tech tweaks. Filter up that lens or swap your camera's sensor – it's science for the artsy heart. Then, play with the light, watch the weather (seriously, clouds are your BFFL in infrared), and let those lovebirds shine against the stunning, altered landscapes.

Bottom line: nobody wants their "I do" day to look like all the rest. With bridal infrared photography, you're not just giving them pictures; you're gifting an immortalized slice of fantasy. And when they look back at those photos? They won't just see their wedding; they'll feel the magic.

Landscape infrared photography

Landscape shots take on a whole new dimension when you plunge into the world of infrared (IR) photography. The foliage and trees? They'll pop like neon signs at a Vegas hotel, going from ordinary greens to surreal shades of white and pink. But it's not just an adjustment of hues. IR landscape shots transport you to a dreamlike version of our world, where familiar scenes become alien landscapes waiting to be explored.

What makes foliage look so distinct in IR photography? It's all about the light—specifically the wavelengths that human eyes can't see, but cameras modified for infrared can. When the invisible IR light hits leaves, which naturally reflect IR, you get that glowing, ethereal effect that turns your typical landscape pic into a fantastical postcard from a land of eternal twilight.

A tip from the pros like Richard Mosse, known for his stunning IR landscapes, is to always consider the light source and time of day. Early morning or late afternoon, with the sun at a lower angle, really lets those IR light waves work their magic. You, too, can capture the unseen beauty of IR shots. Just grab an IR filter or a modified camera, and head to your nearest park to practice.

So why is this type of photography popping up on everyone's feed? Beyond looking incredibly cool, it offers a fresh perspective on the environment, reminding us of the unseen beauty that surrounds us every day. IR landscape photography doesn't just show us a new way to see the world; it's a subtle nod to the complex beauty of nature that often goes unnoticed.

Wildlife infrared photography

Wildlife photography in IR breathes new life into the genre. You're not just snapping pics of animals; you're capturing the unseen beauty of nature. Animals that blend into their environments? Not anymore! Infrared photography transforms them into stunning silhouettes against otherworldly backgrounds.

First things first: What kind of gear do you need? A camera converted for infrared, my friends. It allows you to see the heat signature of wildlife, a view not visible to the naked eye. The contrast created by IR gives you images with animals standing out, even in thick vegetation!

As for famous shutterbugs, check out the work of Simon Marsden. His ghostly animal shots will send chills down your spine and give you a whole new perspective on "nature photography."

Here's a hot tip for you: Timing is everything. Late afternoon is your BFF for the ethereal glow that makes IR shots pop. And a little patience goes a long way in stalking your subject.

Why the fuss over wildlife IR photography, you ask? Well, it tells a different story about our natural world – one that's hidden in plain sight. So, put on your camouflage, get out there, and start making some infrared magic!

Architectural infrared photography

Ever wondered what your favorite buildings would look like if they were from an alternate universe? Well, architectural infrared (IR) photography is like having a magical lens to the ‘Twilight Zone’. This isn't your typical skyline snap—it's a style where buildings bask in unseen light, and everyday structures become otherworldly landmarks.

Picture this: a classic skyscraper, but it's dressed in a cloak of dreamy whites against an ethereal sky. That's what happens when IR photography meets architecture. The IR spectrum throws a curveball, replacing the building's regular coat with a spectrum of light that our eyes can't naturally see. These luminous scenes can make a modern marvel look like a frozen ice sculpture.

Why stop at a simple photograph of a building when you can kick it up a notch? Architectural IR photography captures the essence of structures with a twist that'll have everyone doing a double-take. Tips? You got it! Use a converted camera and consider the time of day – midday is usually king in this realm. And let's not forget about post-processing; that's where the real magic happens, bringing out the contrasts and details that make these images pop.

This style isn't just about aesthetics; it digs deeper. It's a way to showcase the architectural genius with a fresh perspective. It illustrates texture, emphasizes form, and plays with the unseen beauty of materials. All of which begs the question: What majestic tales would your local buildings tell if they could drape themselves in the otherworldliness of the IR spectrum? If you want to see buildings as you've never seen them before, architectural infrared photography's got the power to shift your world view—a few wavelengths at a time.

Fine art infrared photography

Fine art IR photography is not just photography, it's a form of magic where the invisible becomes visible, where what you see transcends the typical and takes you into a whole new realm of artistry. Yes, we're talking wavelengths of light your bare eyes can't even catch, but don't worry – your camera's got the superpower with a little tweak here and there.

So you've got your camera and you're ready to venture into the otherworldly beauty of fine art IR photography? Here are the game-changing tips: First, grabbing a filter is a must – it's like the golden ticket to the infrared wonderland. And remember, exposure times will be longer, so bring along your trusty tripod to avoid unwanted blurs.

But why, you might wonder, does fine art IR photography make artists and enthusiasts swoon? It's simple – the results are unpredictable and mesmerizing. It flips the script on the familiar; lush green foliage turns snowy white, and clear blue skies can morph into dramatic, dark backdrops. Heck, skin can look smooth as silk, and eyes might just pierce through the image.

Here's a little pro tip: tweak the white balance to get those sought-after ethereal hues. And as for inspiration, roll through the works of pioneers like Richard Mosse – his use of IR photography in conflict zones has gained critical acclaim. Trust me, a dive into fine art IR photography is like stepping into the wardrobe and finding Narnia – it's a fantasy land where your artistic side can roam wild and free.

Forensic infrared photography

Hey there, are you ready to dive into the world where photography meets CSI? Welcome to the intriguing realm of forensic infrared photography. It's where the unseen suddenly becomes a pivotal piece of a puzzle, often revealing what the naked eye can’t see. Think of it like giving superpowers to investigators to look beyond the obvious.

Forensic photographers use infrared photography to capture evidence that can be downright crucial in solving a case. It's not your average point-and-shoot situation; it's the art of uncovering hidden details. This technique can reveal blood stains on a dark fabric, or show alterations on a document that screamed, "nothing to see here!"

Imagine you're at a crime scene. Traditional photography just isn't giving you the juicy details you need. But with forensics and IR photography, bam! – you're seeing the room through a whole new lens. This isn't just for the pros, though. If you've got a keen interest in forensic science and a camera that can handle IR, you might just find yourself playing detective in your backyard.

So, why is this type of photography a big deal? It amplifies the invisible, the details that escape us, the evidence that whispers secrets about a crime. And in a world where the details can mean the difference between justice served and a mystery remaining unsolved, forensic infrared photography is more than just a style – it's a silent guardian of the truth.

Astrophotography with infrared

Ready to see the night sky like you've never seen it before? Then you’re gonna love infrared astrophotography! It's the rad cousin of regular stargazing, adding a fresh, ghostly vibe to your cosmic snaps. Basically, it’s like turning the midnight sky into a galactic wonderland that’s invisible to the naked eye.

Listen up, night owls and stargazers! If you're itching to amp up your astrophotography game, learn some cool IR astrophotography techniques. You'll need to invest in an infrared-sensitive camera or a special infrared filter to kick things off. It’s not too crazy, promise! This magic trick transforms regular celestial bodies into otherworldly silhouettes against the inky backdrop.

Alright, here’s the lowdown: infrared in astrophotography lets you capture stars and planets with a sharpness that’s out of this world, and you can snap all those nebulas and galaxies without light pollution messing up your shot. Whether you’re capturing the milky way or shooting a passing comet, infrared pulls out details in the heavens that are often lost in standard photography.

But you don’t have to be a NASA wizard to do this. Just go where the skies are clear (deserts work great), wait for a new moon night, set up your tripod, and let infrared unearth the mysteries up there. Imagine capturing the hidden facets of the Orion Nebula or the craters on the moon with such crystal clarity, your friends will accuse you of being an alien with super eyesight.

Remember, patience is key. Long exposures are your best friend, and practice makes perfect. So gear up, give it your best shot, and buckle up for a stellar ride through the cosmos! It's not only downright fascinating but also a way to make your photography portfolio shine like the stars you're capturing. 🌟

Creative portrait infrared photography

Ever stared at a photo and felt like you just stepped into a fantasy world? That's the magic of creative portrait infrared photography! By capturing light from the infrared spectrum, your portraits get a dreamy makeover that regular cameras can't see.

Infrared creative portraits offer that otherworldly charm with colors and contrasts that pop in an almost supernatural way. Trees might turn snowy white, and skies could show off a stunning range of deep contrasts. It's not just a photo; it's an escape to a parallel universe, and yes, it's as cool as it sounds!

So, what's the scoop on the perks? The benefits of infrared portraits are plenty. For one, you can say goodbye to pesky details like blemishes since IR photography is kind to skin tones. Plus, it lets you be a trendsetter by producing images so unique, they're guaranteed to stand out in any portfolio.

Ready to dive in? You’ll want to focus on strong subjects and play with the way IR light interacts with different materials. Stick to early morning or late afternoon for the best light. And hey, why not check out some shots by Richard Mosse for inspiration? His infrared work in conflict zones fuses art with storytelling in a breathtaking way.

Taking the plunge into the world of infrared can transform the way you think about portraits. Whether you're capturing the raw emotion in a person's gaze or framing them within the whimsical setting of an IR landscape, this style is surefire photography gold. Give it a shot, and let your art do some serious talking!


What is infrared photography used for?

Infrared photography is used to capture images with wavelengths longer than visible light, often revealing details not seen by the naked eye.

What is infrared used for in photography?

Infrared is used in photography to produce unique images with dream-like qualities and to highlight vegetation or see through atmospheric haze.

How do you make infrared photography?

You make infrared photography by using a camera modified to detect infrared light and filters that block visible light, then snapping your photos.

What is infrared photography in criminology?

Infrared photography in criminology is used to uncover evidence not visible in standard photographs, such as gunshot residues or altered documents.

What do infrared images show?

Infrared images show heat radiation and details not visible in the spectrum of visible light, like thermal differences and material properties.

Final Words

Alright, we've dived deep into the world of infrared photography, trekking through its history and exploring its various applications. From the etheric allure of bridal shoots to the enchanting vistas in landscape captures, IR photography has added a new dimension to the visuals. We've seen wildlife lurk in a new light, buildings tell different stories, and fine art get a spectral twist. Even the stars above have whispered their secrets through IR lenses. Forensics, too, rely on it to uncover what's hidden from plain sight.

What's clear is infrared photography isn't just another technique; it's an art form that consistently reveals the unseen beauty around us. It's compelling, intriguing, and downright cool. So grab your camera, and let's paint the world with the unseen hues of infrared. Remember, when it comes to capturing the world with fresh eyes, infrared photography is your secret weapon.

Meet the Author
Aria Ohlsson
Aria Ohlsson, the Instagram storyteller extraordinaire, takes you on adventures through her enchanting narratives. An avid hiker, she scales peaks and weaves tales of mountaintop triumphs. When she's not conquering trails, you'll find her immersed in classic novels, finding inspiration for her next tale.
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