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Daylight white balance, clipped red channel

White Balance

To obtain accurate exposures and a meaningful histogram on the camera, you must set a custom white balance in the camera, even if shooting RAW.

Even point & shoot cameras such as the Fujifilm F30 offer a custom white balance. Those that don’t are problematic for infrared and should be avoided.

The procedure is simple:

1. Find a subject such as a large deciduous tree, or a green lawn that is highly reflective of infrared.
2. Shoot that subject, telling the camera to auto white balance off that frame (the exact procedure varies with each camera model).

You can also use a gray card or white paper, but these produce no better results and possibly worse ones, because the infrared reflectivity of such artificial surfaces can be variable. Images shot with the resulting white balance won’t be a neutral gray; they typically will be slightly brown or blue, depending on the camera.

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Diglloyd Infrared Photography covers cameras and lenses for infrared photography.

The coverage explains all the issues involved in shooting in infrared, which do not change. It is not a review of any particular camera or lens, though many examples are included.

  • Guidance on workflow for infrared, including black and white and channel swapping for false-color images.
  • How infrared renders, and why certain spectral cutoffs matter: false color vs black and white.
  • Image quality issues to be on the lookout for in infrared.
  • Numerous lens evaluations in infrared.

View an overview of infrared as well as filter spectral transmission plus examples from an optimal lens.

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