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How to Create Infrared Images on Your Digital Camera

Infrared photos taken with a digital camera have a particular, otherworldly look. In an infrared photo, skies are dark, clouds stand out in sharp relief, and foliage appears ghostly white. Human faces are pale and lack texture. The pictures sometimes seem to glow with an inner light. You’ll either love or hate these effects.

Some digital cameras are better suited to infrared photography than others. Find out whether your camera can take infrared photos and, if it can, snap away with your digital camera:


Point a remote control at your lens and snap off a picture while pressing a button on the remote.

If you can see the glow of the remote control’s infrared burst in the image, your camera can take infrared photos.


Attach an infrared filter to your lens.

Available at any camera shop, these block visible light but let infrared light through.


Set your camera to a long exposure.

Even with the most infrared-worthy cameras, most of the infrared light is still filtered out. Enough infrared light remains to take a picture, but you have to use long exposures for best results.


Use normal ISO settings and mount your camera on a tripod.

The tripod helps if you’re shooting blind, which happens if your camera doesn’t have an LCD preview, because any infrared filter you use blocks virtually all visible light.

A few lenses have an anti-infrared coating that can produce a bright spot in the center of your infrared image. If you have this problem, switch to a different lens or try to correct the spot in your image editor.

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