Photography Information

Infrared Photography and Big City Crime

One of the major problems of the larger cities of the word these days is crime. It appears that the larger the city the more-acceptable serious crime seems to be. If not because to the proliferation of serious crime then because the mindset of its citizens have been conditioned to accept the serious behaviour of a minority of its inhabitants.

So, how does this statement relate to infrared digital photography and the hobbyist or professional camera operator?

Not much escapes the all-seeing eye of the infrared camera of the police helicopter as it chases a carload of thieves down the freeway in the middle of the night. They will almost invariably be caught by the police when they exit their vehicle thanks to the thermal heat imaging of the helicopter's infrared camera.

Likewise, your own infrared daytime photography should let no entity go unnoticed. After all - you've spent a lot of time setting up the shot and composing the image with just the right light, shutter speed and aperture. Your mindset should not be to simply accept inaccuracies and faults with your photograph, but to go that extra step to eliminate them altogether.

Just like the officers in the police chopper, why would you go to great lengths to capture that final important infrared image only to decide at the last second to give up the chase?

Digital infrared photography does have a few things that should be taken into account to ensure your image is as best as could be. The following combination of items will affect your image:

Light, Dust on the infrared filter, Type of infrared filter, Exposure setting, Aperture and Movement of the subject

The digital infrared images at Photo Shop Australia have varying amounts of light, shutter speeds and apertures.

Low light may require longer exposure times if you can't get the aperture down low enough. This could have a dramatic effect on the final image - especially if you are shooting a subject that may move even slightly.

Dust on the infrared filter will affect the image by producing "blind spots" in the final image. A close inspection of your infrared image in your photo editing software will reveal these. The blind spots can be smudged out of the image easily, but if you have hundreds then it may be more worthwhile to recompose the image than to edit the digital photo.

The type of infrared filter will also determine the outcome of the print. The Hoya R70 filter seems to be the best-priced for digital infrared photography.

Exposure and aperture settings can be played with until you find the best combination for your camera. But keep in mind that usually the higher the F-stop the longer the shutter speed required. So shooting a moving subject at a long shutter speed can result in unwanted effects.

Long shutter speeds (of up to 15 seconds or more) of trees on a windy day can actually produce the most spectacular effects.

We've all seen those long exposure night photographs of cars moving along a freeway. Long exposure daytime digital infrared imaging can produce amazing results too. You just have to get creative with your camera and subjects. Think of the possibilities!

Be aware that adding an infrared filter may have serious effects on your camera's electronics or lens. Consult your camera's operations manual or manufacturer before fitting any infrared filter to your camera, and never look through an infrared or any other type of filter with your own eyes.

Phill Petrovic is the owner of Photo Shop Australia at: Photo Shop Australia provides unique and amazing Australian nature photography including macro, infrared and landscape images of Australia. Photo Shop Australia also has a page of totally royalty free images available for free download for businesses and personal users.

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