Infrared Photography

Infrared Photography in Black and White
Blackwater Refuge, Maryland | fine art infrared black and white landscape photography by Jacqueline LaRocca
Clouds over Blackwater Refuge

“Real vision is the ability to see the invisible” – Jonathan Swift

What is Infrared Photography?

Infrared photography is a look into the invisible world.

The human eye can only see wavelengths from 400 nm-700 nm (from purple to red); infrared light is beyond 700nm to 1200nm.

There are two ways to capture infrared light: 1) use infrared film, or 2) use a converted digital camera specifically for infrared photography.

Infrared photography produces very distinct effects which make them aesthetically pleasing. The most striking difference is the “Wood Effect” (named after Robert W. Wood), where leaves reflect light giving them a bright white look. Robert W. Wood is considered the father of infrared photography. Infrared photography produces surreal color landscapes and high-contrast black and white photographs.

My Introduction to Infrared Photography in Black and White

About 20 years ago, I saw the work of Sir Simon Marsden, a British photographer who specialized in infrared photography.  I was awestruck by his ethereal and dramatic images. Inspired by Simon Marsden, I began a long quest to learn infrared photography.

At the time, I could not find any classes on infrared film photography, so I taught myself. I learned infrared photography by reading, researching, and spending lots of time practicing. In 2008, I bought my first converted digital camera specifically for infrared photography. I am now on my second converted digital camera and continue to explore the wonderment of infrared. Infrared enables me to create dramatic, high-contrast black and white images, which I love.

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