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Black and White Infrared Film

March 30, 2009 Lowell Bradford Blog, News & Articles 0 Comments


In Infrared Photography (IR), a special film that is sensitive to infrared light is used. There are two types of infrared films: color film and black and white film. The black and white infrared film creates very interesting pictures. It is sensitive to the wavelengths of blue light which is usually about 475 nanometers, and it shows sensitivity towards ordinary light in 700-900 wavelength.

Currently, there are different black and white infrared films in the market such as Konica Infrared 750, Agfa Agfapan APX 200S, Kodak HIE, and MACO IR 820c. With IR photography, it is always better to use older camera models because they do not have features such as IR dating and sprocket holes which can be causes for fogging.

The processing of black and white infrared films should take place right after you are done taking pictures so that you can avoid damaging the film. There are a couple of ways you can develop the film. You can use a regular photo developing shop or use reverse chemistry to create transparent pictures. It is always advisable to develop infrared film on your own.

If you are planning to use black and white infrared films, here are some important tips you need to know:

  • Before you start clicking away, make sure the back of your camera is covered because this ?window? will allow infrared light to enter and affect the outcome of the shot.
  • Check your camera settings and make sure the focus is set to infrared focus.
  • Camera and IR films should be placed inside a darkroom, possibly inside a bag or something that can cover it completely. IR lights can pass through almost anything and when this happens, fogging will occur.
  • You should also remove the pressure plate as it causes bumps in IR films.

Many photographers find infrared photography a challenge and it really takes time before you can be an expert at it. However, there are a few techniques you can use to make sure you get good shots. The first thing to remember is to always make use of a tripod. Use minimal aperture, usually about f/5.6 even in daylight. If you want to use filters, avoid the colored ones as they will go against the black and white color. Black and white infrared films can be used in most kinds of photography but they are best for landscape, wedding, and still life photos.

One of the important things you need to remember when using black and white infrared film photography is that you need to be creative and patient to experiment with it. Black and white photography is timeless and it remains popular with photographers everywhere even with the availability of color IR film.

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