Human eyes can actually only see a very small portion of the electro magnetic spectrum. We refer to that small portion as visible light. Just outside of that range of visible light is infrared light. Although invisible to the human eye, it can be seen by certain types of camera film or digital camera sensors. In fact, almost all digital camera sensors can “see” infrared light, but manufactures place a small filter over the sensor to block infrared and ultraviolet light from passing through to the sensor. By replacing that filter with one that allows IR light to get through but blocks visible light results in a camera that only records IR light.
Infrared photography isn’t anything new. Infrared films have been available for decades. The problem with IR films is that they are difficult to use and often yield unpredictable results. Radiant heat energy is a type of infrared light that can easily fog IR films. Care must me taken when loading the film into the camera to make sure the film isn’t exposed from the invisible IR light. The other problem is that cameras were calibrated to expose based on visble light. Using IR was almost a hit and miss technique for getting the right exposure. This was one of the charms of infrared film photography, but the results were to unpredictable for it to be used reliabily to photograph something as important as a wedding.
In steps digital IR. By having a digital camera converted to record only in infrared, all of the drawbacks of film are eliminated. There is no longer any need to worry about fogged film or exposure problems since a digital camera provides instant feedback. As for the quality of the images, well see for yourself.
One great thing about using an infrared cammera for weddings is that most of the blemishes we can see on an individual’s face are only visible in normal light, and they completely dissappear when using infrared. IR light also captures a little bit of heat adding a radiant inner glow to skin. Currently there are only an handful of photographers specializing in digital infrared wedding photography. Finding one who does can yield some of the most beautiful images from your special day you can imagine.
Timothy Faust is an award winning wedding photographer from Breckenridge, Colorado. He specializes in destination wedding photography in Colorado and all across the world.