Flower Photography in Infrared

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

The Rocky Mountain Columbine (Columbine Aquilegia caerulea) is the state flower of Colorado but is known as “granny bonnets” to some. It was discovered in 1820 on Pike’s Peak by mountain climber Edwin James.

There are 70 species of columbines in the world and about one-third of them are native to North America. Columbines bloom in pastel shades of violet, red, yellow, white and pale blue (as in the species name caerulea); commonly the flowers are bicolored with the sepals a different shade to the petals. Like most flowers, they are not typically photographed in black and white. So I decided to use infrared!

I photographed this one in a friend’s front yard using an Canon EOS 50D (that I no longer own) and had been converted to infrared-only photography by LifePixel using their Standard IR filter conversion. Lens used was an EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro Lens lens with an exposure of 1/200 sec at f/5 and ISO 400.

If you’ve been thinking abut trying infrared photography and would prefer to use a converted camera because of the ability to shoot handheld, consider having one of your old cameras that’s just sitting around doing nothing converted by LifePixel or any of the many companies that offer this service. Or you can go on eBay or Craig’s List and find a nice used (and cheap) SLR that uses the same lenses as the rest of your system. Using an older camera is not a drawback if you shoot in RAW.

For some reasons on why I shoot infrared and why you might want to give it a try, read my post Infrared Photography Gives You a Fresh Start on the Mirrorless Photo Tips archive.



My book, The Complete Guide to Digital Infrared Photography is out-of-print but new copies are available from Amazon for $30.22 with used copies selling for $8.47 as I write this. Creative Digital Monochrome Effects has a chapter on IR photography and is available from Amazon with used copies selling for three bucks and like the IR book would make a great Valentines gift for your favorite photographer or yourself.