Infrared Imagery: A New Dimension in Landscape Photography

Photo of author
Written By Adam Moody

Adam Moody is a landscape photographer and environmentalist who is passionate about capturing the beauty of the natural world. With his stunning images and love for sharing his knowledge with others, he inspires us all to appreciate and protect our planet.

At the heart of landscape photography lies the desire to capture the beauty of nature. But what if we could go beyond what the human eye can see and reveal the unseen wonders that lie within? This is where infrared photography comes into play, offering us a new and captivating perspective.

Infrared landscape photography unlocks a whole new dimension, creating mesmerizing images that showcase the ethereal beauty unseen in nature. By capturing light beyond the visible spectrum, we can explore a world filled with enchanting landscapes and surreal compositions.

With the help of specialized cameras and filters, we can extend our shooting hours and immerse ourselves in the magic of infrared imagery. Whether it’s the contrast between the vibrant colors and serene blue skies or the striking black and white tones, infrared photography offers endless possibilities in capturing landscapes like never before.

Join us as we dive into the world of infrared landscape photography, unveiling the secrets of this fascinating art form and discovering the techniques and subjects that will allow us to capture the unseen beauty of nature.

Embracing Infrared Photography for Extended Shooting Hours

Infrared photography has revolutionized landscape photography by allowing us to capture stunning images even in challenging lighting conditions. By using a full-spectrum infrared camera or infrared filters, we can unveil a whole new world of possibilities, adding a contrast in mood and tone to our photographs.

Enhancing Mood and Tone

One of the key advantages of infrared photography is its ability to create unique and captivating images with enhanced mood and tone. With a full-spectrum infrared camera or infrared filters, we can capture black and white images with a touch of toning, resulting in ethereal and otherworldly landscapes. Additionally, by utilizing these techniques, we can achieve vibrant color images with blue skies and warm tones, providing a striking contrast to the traditional photography we are accustomed to.

Extended Shooting Hours

By embracing infrared photography, we can extend our shooting hours beyond what is typically possible with conventional techniques. Infrared light is present throughout the day, allowing us to capture breathtaking landscapes even during unfavorable lighting conditions. Whether it’s the soft glow of dawn or the tranquil atmosphere of dusk, infrared photography enables us to make the most of our time in beautiful locations, capturing the subtle details and hidden beauty that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Expanding Creative Possibilities

With the versatility offered by infrared photography, we can explore new creative avenues and expand our artistic horizons. By harnessing the power of infrared, we can reveal a world that is otherwise unseen to the human eye, capturing the contrast between reflectance and absorption in a way that adds depth and visual interest to our images. From capturing the graceful lines of coniferous trees to showcasing the serene beauty of water bodies, infrared photography opens up a wealth of creative possibilities for us to explore.

Overall, embracing infrared photography with a full-spectrum infrared camera or infrared filters can transform our landscape photography, allowing us to uncover the hidden magic and ethereal beauty that lies beneath the surface. By extending our shooting hours and adding contrasting mood and tone to our images, we can create captivating photographs that leave a lasting impression on viewers.

The Basics of Infrared Landscape Photography

Infrared landscape photography is an exciting genre that allows us to capture the unseen beauty of nature. To embark on this journey, it is essential to understand the fundamentals. Here are the key elements to consider:

1. IR Photography Filters

IR photography filters are indispensable tools for capturing stunning infrared landscapes. These filters block out all light except infrared, allowing us to reveal the ethereal qualities of our surroundings. It is important to choose high-quality filters that are compatible with our cameras to achieve optimal results.

2. Camera Compatibility

Before diving into infrared photography, we must ensure that our cameras are compatible with infrared filters. Some cameras have built-in filters that block infrared light, impeding our ability to capture infrared images. Researching camera compatibility and, if necessary, investing in a camera that supports infrared photography can greatly enhance our experience.

3. Tripod and Remote Shutter Cable

Long exposure shots are a hallmark of infrared landscape photography. As infrared filters significantly reduce the amount of light reaching the camera sensor, a sturdy tripod is essential to keep our shots sharp and steady. Additionally, using a remote shutter cable minimizes camera shake, ensuring the highest level of image quality.

By mastering these basics, we can lay a strong foundation for our exploration of infrared landscape photography. In the next section, we will delve into ideal subjects for capturing mesmerizing infrared images.

Ideal Subjects for Infrared Landscape Photography

When it comes to infrared landscape photography, certain subjects lend themselves beautifully to capturing the ethereal and captivating qualities of this unique art form. Landscapes, in particular, prove to be the ideal canvas for showcasing the stunning contrast between reflectance and absorption of infrared light.

Coniferous Trees

With their dense foliage, coniferous trees absorb infrared light, resulting in a bright and striking appearance in black and white photos. These majestic trees create a mesmerizing contrast against the surrounding landscape, adding depth and drama to the composition.

Blue Skies

Blue skies, a staple element in landscape photography, take on a whole new allure in infrared imagery. Instead of the familiar blue hue, infrared light transforms the skies into a rich and velvety black, creating a mysterious and otherworldly atmosphere.


Water, whether it be serene lakes, cascading waterfalls, or flowing rivers, becomes a striking feature in infrared landscape photography. Infrared light penetrates the water, revealing its hidden depths and capturing the subtle movements and textures that are often invisible to the naked eye.

These subjects, along with others like deciduous trees, grasses, and clouds, offer endless creative possibilities in infrared photography. Exploring and capturing the interplay between reflectance and absorption of infrared light can result in breathtaking images that transport viewers to a dreamlike world.

Techniques for Shooting Infrared Photos

Shooting infrared photos requires specific techniques to capture the unique and captivating effects. Here are the essential techniques to consider:

  • Shoot in RAW: To have better control over post-processing, shooting in RAW format is highly recommended. RAW files contain more data and allow for greater flexibility in adjusting colors and tones.
  • Take color exposures: Before capturing the infrared image, it’s beneficial to take a color exposure as a reference point. This helps in determining the appropriate exposure settings for infrared photography.
  • Adjust ISO, aperture, and shutter speed: Experimenting with ISO, aperture, and shutter speed is crucial to achieve the desired infrared effect. Lower ISO values (such as 100 or 200) are preferable to minimize noise. Selecting an aperture between f/8 and f/11 helps maintain sharpness and depth of field. Adjusting the shutter speed based on the available light conditions is essential.
  • Manual focusing: Infrared photography often requires manual focusing, especially when shooting landscapes. Focusing at infinity ensures sharper details throughout the frame. Additionally, using a small aperture (higher f-number) can help to increase the depth of field.

Capturing the ethereal beauty of landscapes

By employing these techniques, we can effectively capture the ethereal beauty of landscapes through infrared photography. Shooting in RAW provides us with more flexibility during post-processing, enabling us to enhance the dramatic effects of infrared light. Taking a color reference exposure helps us determine the appropriate settings for capturing the invisible spectrum of light.

With careful adjustments to ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, we can control the exposure and achieve the desired infrared effect. Manual focusing allows us to ensure sharpness in our images, particularly when capturing landscapes with vast distances. By following these techniques, we can create stunning infrared photographs that reveal the hidden beauty of nature.

Converting Digital Cameras to Infrared

Another approach to exploring the world of infrared photography is by converting digital cameras to infrared. This process involves removing the camera’s infrared filter, allowing the sensor to capture the elusive infrared light. Depending on your preferences and shooting style, there are different types of infrared conversions available, such as full spectrum and specific wavelength conversions.

Before considering an infrared conversion, it’s essential to assess camera compatibility and lens suitability. Some cameras may yield better results than others when converted to infrared, so thorough research and consultation with professionals can help guide your decision. Additionally, keep in mind that focusing may differ when using an infrared-converted camera, requiring adjustments to achieve crisp images.

If you prefer not to convert your camera, infrared filters can be employed to achieve similar effects. However, bear in mind that using filters on non-converted cameras may result in longer exposure times and some loss of light. Experimentation is key, as each camera and filter combination can produce unique results.

+ posts

Adam Moody is a landscape photographer and environmentalist who is passionate about capturing the beauty of the natural world. With his stunning images and love for sharing his knowledge with others, he inspires us all to appreciate and protect our planet.