How to master Infrared Photography with your iPhone. Infrared light lies beyond the visual spectrum, which means that your eyes can’t see it. In your images, infrared photography effects capture that elusive infrared light to create unusual visual effects.
How to master Infrared Photography with your iPhone
Different effects can be captured in infrared images, and there are filters and post-processing apps that can simulate infrared photography to give your photos that IR look without any special equipment. Here’s what you need to know to take stunning infrared photos with your iPhone.
What is Infrared Photography?
Infrared light is beyond what we can see, but certain cameras can capture the light to show us how the world would look if our eyes were able to capture the light spectrum beyond 700nm. The most popular infrared photos use what’s called the “Wood Effect,” named after infrared photography icon Robert Wood.
Photos that use the wood effect reflect light to create a dreamy landscape scene with white or pink foliage and deeply colored skies of different hues.
Can the iPhone take Infrared Photos?
The answer is yes. Well, your iPhone can take infrared photos with some extra equipment and post-processing techniques. You will need an infrared filter, the ability to shoot in RAW, and the ability to shoot a long exposure.
iPhone models you can use for color Infrared Photography
It is better if you add an IR filter to iPhone cameras that use LiDAR technology. The full meaning of LiDAR is (light detection and ranging). iPhone cameras that use LiDAR include front-facing lenses that are sensitive to infrared light. That means you can use an IR filter with them to create infrared photos. The following models use LIDAR technology:
- iPhone 14 Pro Max
- iPhone 14 Pro
- iPhone 14
- iPhone 13 Pro Max
- iPhone 13 Pro
- iPhone 13 Mini
- iPhone 13
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 12 Pro
Gear and settings for infrared photography with an iPhone
To make your infrared photography dreams a reality, here’s what you’ll need.
From the iPhone 12 Pro, cameras were enabled with RAW technology, which Apple called ProRAW, allowing you more creative control when shooting and editing infrared photos. While shooting in RAW isn’t strictly necessary, it will give you more options when adjusting color, contrast, and sharpness in post-processing.
Other settings, Filters, etc.
- An IR filter. Infrared filters come in various ranges for blocking certain light spectrums. You can either hold or tape the IR filter over your iPhone lens and case to achieve this effect.
- Portable tripod. Using the filter described above means you will be blocking light from hitting your camera sensor, which also means you’ll need a longer exposure to get a decently sharp image.
- Remote shuttle. Another useful tool for keeping your image sharp.
- Night mode. Night mode’s long exposure setting will allow enough light to hit your camera’s sensor through the filter that you’ve applied.
How to process infrared photos in Lightroom
The goal of infrared is not to achieve realistic photos. Instead, you will be using your creative license to create photos that look more like dreamscapes of your imagination. Here are some tips for processing your infrared photos with the Lightroom mobile app on your iPhone.
- Adjust the white balance. Under Color in Lightroom, tap White Balance, and then Custom. Now drag the circle to a bright spot in your photo. This will get rid of that red hue in your photo.
- Increase the contrast. This is helpful for increasing the contrast between colors in your IR image.
- Use color grading to make color adjustments. The split-tone feature in Lightroom is now color grading.
- This is useful for bringing back some of the lost details and clarity to your image.
How to simulate infrared photos with VSCO
You can simulate infrared photos with 2 new premium presets available using the Vasco app. According to VSCO, the new infrared presets are an approximation of the most common visual features of real infrared photos without actually having access to them. Blue skies are darkened, and brightness is especially influenced by the red channel.
However, you can choose from two color infrared filters: one designed for portraits and one for landscapes. The effect is subtle, and the strength of the preset can be adjusted using the preset slider. You are enabled to literally see the world in a whole new light with infrared photography, and thanks to your iPhone and a few extras, it’s easy to do.
From photos of nature to urban photography, shooting infrared will allow you to create some unique images, so don’t be afraid to experiment.