The Art of Infrared Photography

       Infrared Photography stemmed from experimentation in the early 20th Century by American physicist Robert W. Wood, who developed special infrared sensitive photographic plates. Wood is credited with discovering the unusual effects in landscape photography, now known as the Wood Effect, in which grasses and foliage take on a pronounced glow. In 1910  the Century Magazine and in the Royal Photographic Society Journal published his works.
       In the 1930s Kodak introduced the first commercial infrared sensitive emulsions. Within several years there were four additional manufacturers, including Agfa and Ilford, and as many as 33 different infrared sensitive films were available. Then in the 1960s Kodak introduced a commercial color reversal film sensitive to infrared, named Kodak Infrared EIR in 35mm rolls. This film, which produced strange and  vibrant false-color images, became popular and widely used within the psychedelic culture.       
       In the last three decades of the 20th Century a number of photographers used Black & White Infrared films for serious studies, notably Simon Marsden in the U.K., Elio Ciol in Italy, Joseph Paduano in the U.S. and Martin Reeves also in the U.K. Black & White prints were often enhanced by sepia toning or with hand coloring with special paints. Additionally numerous scientific applications for IR photography were found in the medical, military, forensic and astronomic fields.
       With the invention and development of digital photography, IR photography has taken on a new dimension. Almost all contemporary digital camera sensors have sensitivity in the infrared spectrum. Therefore in most instances images can be made based on sensor responses to either visible or infrared reflected wavelenghts, or both. This is done by the addition of special filters, either on the camera's lens or internally directly to the sensor.
        The popularity of IR photography has grown expotentially in recent years, with photographers around the world applying digital techniques to landscape, portrait, wedding photography and even in journalism. The expectations are that over time IE photography will also gain cachet in the Fine Art world, and that asperhaps the new millenium unfolds a spectacular legacy will be ushered in, touching all corners of the globe.  by Georg Kremer, email:

Mission (typical Black & White IR photo)

Jemej Verbovsek Infrared swimmer (Ektachrome EIR)

Nathan Hayag - Autumn Tactics

Richard Glass - Forest Park Gazebo

Bruce Thomas - All Hail

Musin Yohan - Photographer's Approach

Simon Marsden  (traditional infrared photography)

Martin Reeves  (traditional infrared photography)

Joseph Paduano  (traditional infrared photography)

Deborah Sandidge  (digital infrared photography)

Roie Galitz (digital infrared photography)

Dave Beckerman  (NYC B&W photography)

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