Infrared Portraiture Revisited

“From the research that I’ve done it seems that the bright Arizona sun caused he pupils to be smaller which is where the dark area is. If I had been shooting in a darker scene where the pupils were more dilated I would have gotten darker eyes.”—Mark Toal

One of the things I enjoy about our sister blog Mirrorless Photo Tips is the stuff I learn from other writers, especially Mark Toal. Mark’s recent posts of infrared images are impressive. But it’s not just the quality of his photo-graphs but also the quality of the information he provides, such as his observations (above quote) about the quality of light affecting infrared portraits. What Mark didn’t mention and what, I think, sets his second portraits apart from most attempts at IR portraiture is that his subject is also backlit. This is something I have to try real soon now. What you see here today is my IR portraits pre-Mark.

I think the most important part of this post is that Mark went for it even though he was told by “experts” not to photograph people using infrared techniques. This is a widely held opinion. In fact both images you see here of my former muse, Tia Stoneman, were rejected by a magazine aimed at professional photographers because the editor thought the subject “looked like a vampire.” Maybe she wasn’t a fan of the Twilight movies…

Yet, the back cover of my book, “The Complete Guide to Infrared Photography” has a infrared portrait featured. Go figure. Tip: In case you’re wondering the blue hair in the below portrait was not added in Photoshop. Some hair dyes, especially reds, photograph as blue when captured in Infrared.

My book, The Complete Guide to Digital Infrared Photography is currently out-of-print but as I write this. new copies are available from Amazon starting at $19.95, cheaper than used. Creative Digital Monochrome Effects has a chapter on IR photography and is available from Amazon with new copies under $10 and used copies selling for $2.55 (plus shipping) one of the best book deals out their for what is my personal favorite book.

Author: Joe Farace

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