I have become fascinated with infrared. Wanting to take these types of pictures, I therefore took the plunge and recently had an old camera body, a canon 300D, adapted.
This is not the only way to take these type of images, there are a number of different filters you can use, which does not require you to update your camera. There are filters you can buy, which go on the front of the camera lens. If you are new and want to dip your toe in the water first, this is best approach.
This method however does have it’s drawbacks. The filter will fit only one size of lens. Great if all your lenses are one size, but can be expensive if you buy a new one for each size. Secondly, the sensor on digital cameras is fitted with a filter to reduce the all light apart from the visible part of the spectrum.
Most cameras do allow a small amount of infrared to get through, however the exposure times are long, typically 20 to 30 seconds for a 720nm filter( This filter is the most popular and closest to the visible light spectrum and allows some colour through) and up to 5 to 10 minutes for a more restrictive filter. This of course has drawbacks and is susceptible to issues of camera and subject movement etc.
If you however enjoy infrared, then getting an old camera body adapted removes the this “hot” filter in the camera and this is replaced by a one of your choice. 720nm allows for a little bit of colour through, a 830nm filter produces a black and white monochrome.( nm stands for nanometer, very small and relates to the wavelength of light) The main advantage of a dedicated “built in” filter, is that your exposure times are greatly reduced and are almost the same as a exposures using a unaltered camera.
Both the images shown here, have been taken with an adapted 830nm filter in camera. Shooting in bright sunlight gives some of the best results, almost the opposite to normal landscape photography. The green foliage is seen as white and the sky becomes black. Please note, this is only after changing the white balance or adjustment using changing the channels. Initially, the image appears red, being at the red end of the spectrum this shouldn’t be too surprising. I recommend if you are interested, give it a go.