So what are the unique qualities of infrared photography and how are they utilised...
Infrared photographs are
indispensable to astronomers, physicists and other scientists,
permitted many important discoveries to be made.
It was, in fact, with these applications in mind that most of the developments related to infrared films originated. The need to develop films for specialized scientific applications eventually resulted in the availability of infrared films that could be put to more practical uses in a large number of other applications and fields, from medicine and law enforcement to aerial photography, fine art, and many others.
Aside from the scientific uses of infrared photography, why should you create infrared images?
The answer lies in the unique quality of the infrared images, having unusual and unreal tonality, enabling you to produce a new and different view of often otherwise ordinary subjects.
The amount of infrared reflected by materials can be quite different from their visible brightness. This is normally most noticeable with foliage, which generally appears very much brighter due to high infrared reflectance, but other materials are generally also changed, if more subtly.
Image courtesy of Lifepixel.com
Clear skies also come out dark - often near black - while clouds retain their normal tones. Flesh can also produce interesting effects, showing veins and often giving a subtle glow.
light sources have an infrared component, but there is more
sun than on dull days, and more in daylight around
sunrise and sunset
than in the middle of the day. It is best to avoid dull, wet conditions
when taking infrared images, as there is generally very little infrared
Flash is also normally a good infrared source, and tungsten light contains a greater proportion than normal daylight.