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Magazine Of The Nikon World

Nikon Owner Issue 5

Digital Infrared
By Peter Bargh

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Although we can’t see infrared light with our naked eyes it can be captured on camera or film and has some unusual, but interesting, characteristics for creative photographers.

For years photographers have been shooting pictures through special filters with their cameras loaded up with infrared film. The film is not always easy to find and can be tricky to expose. In fact, there are lots of things you have to do to ensure you obtain a decent result, and for these reasons infrared photography has usually been left to those who like to dabble in the black art of experimental imaging. Now digital photographers can try infrared photo-graphy with much more manageable results and far less waste.

A digital camera, such as Nikon’s Coolpix, uses a CCD to record the image and these can see and capture infrared light, unlike conventional film. Every picture you take with a digital camera automatically records the infrared part of the spectrum, but to make it prominent you have to block out all the visible lightwaves. This is done using a special infrared filter that’s almost opaque. If you hold it up to a bright light you can just see through it, but only just. Place this over the lens of your Coolpix and it will block out normal light leaving the scene illuminated with infrared, and here is where the fun begins.