So what is infrared wedding photography? Hold that thought…. lets start with what InfraRed does and explain why we would want to use it.
The main reason a photographer would most likely be drawn to use InfraRed (IR) is because plants & synthetic fabrics will have a ethereal white quality when photographed. Take a look at the same scene shot with a standard camera and an IR camera to see the difference: (IR is on the right, Standard on the left)
The obvious difference in the two photos is the change in the color or apparent whiteness of the foliage (called the “Wood Effect”). This can make landscapes look more lush by minimizing our focus on the part of the tree where all the leaves had fallen off.
The following image is better example of Infrared used to hide a lack of greenery. In color this vineyard is just developing with a dirt floor and not exactly what the couple had planned for on their wedding day. But with Infrared, we can cover up the flaws of the location and still get the shot we want.
OK.. Now what is IR or Infrared Photography?
It’s photographing the infrared spectrum of light instead of the visible spectrum. That is the spectrum of light just one little bit past of visible range. There actually are two types “Near IR” and “Far IR. Near infrared (IR) is what we are talking about here: IR used for photography, while “Far IR” they use for thermal imaging and night vision. Since IR isn’t in our visible color spectrum, you’ll never see a color Infrared photo, only variations of black & white (or sepia, a personal favorite).
Aside from the white foliage, check out the detail in the sky. In a standard image the detail in sky can completely disappear, but with infrared photography you can see the subtle variations of texture and light in the clouds.
One of the other advantages/challenges of Infrared photography (or infrared wedding photography) is its effects on people. The eyes tend to appear a little too dark for my liking, so I avoid photographing people looking straight on to camera in IR. Skin will appear milky and slightly translucent. This will soften lines on the face making the subject look younger but also can make veins more visible (we retouch out the veins of course).
In Los Angeles we don’t have many clouds, but when I do get a chance to photograph them, the Infrared really takes the images over the top.
You’ll also notice the amount of sun flare I get when using my IR camera (which I love). When using a standard camera the images are more likely to blow out making this level of lens flare less possible.
As you can summarize from the images.. I’m a huge fan of infrared wedding photography.