1)If you are still using film, then Ilford produce a film called Ilford SFX. You will need to use a filter in order to achieve the maximum infrared effects, but the results can be stunning.
2)If you are a DSLR user, then you are able to shoot as normal without using any filter, but then you can use one of a variety of editing software to convert your RGB image into infrared. In Photoshop this is normally done using Channels but there are various other options you may wish to consider such as Lightroom, Topaz or Nik Silver Efex Pro. If you want to achieve the effect in-camera, it is possible to attach a purpose made infrared filter over the lens, although they do cut out quite a lot of light and can prove difficult to use.
3)Finally, if you are a DSLR user and wish to explore the technique of infrared photography more fully, then you may want to consider having your camera converted to infrared. This is, of course, quite a drastic step as it will prevent you using that camera for more conventional photography. However as cameras have greatly improved in recent years, some enthusiasts have found themselves buying newer models and thus rendering their older cameras redundant. If so, a great way of bringing them back into use is to have them converted to infrared.
The hallmarks of an infrared image
Whether using film, or a converted DSLR, the infrared camera will have an extended red sensitivity, so that the skies will appear black while green vegetation appears almost white. Infrared can also be used to capture colour but, for aesthetic purposes, most photographers prefer to present their image in black and white. The captured images are both unusual and visually stunning; they look almost like a tonal inversion with the sky appearing much darker than the land. If you decide to have your camera converted to IR you can opt for various levels of sensitivity depending on the style of photography you wish to pursue but, irrespective of the camera’s sensitivity, all will work particularly well when the sun is shining and the results can appear especially graphic. If you consider photographing landscape on a sunny day is boring, then shoot in IR and think again!
An excerpt from our book Photographing Landscape Whatever the Weather by Tony Worobiec