Wednesday, 16 January 2008

How to: Infrared Flash

Many people seem not to be aware of this, but there is a way to use flash without anybody seing the light. The method is simple, the light you use is out of the spectrum that humans can see and the film you use is sensible to it. Perfect for shy photographers or when nobody wants the scene to be perturbed... lets say hello to infrared flash photography!

- by Weegee

- image from The Park, by Kohei Yoshiyuki

Those are probably the two authors that right now come to my mind as taking the most bang for the buck of shooting with infrared flash: Weegee and Kohei Yoshiyuki (who was previously spotlighted here). It happens to be that the technique for producing these images is not that complicated at the end of the day, and one of the contributors to the flickr group Children of Weegee wrote a whole step by step guide to how to build an invisible infrared flash. Check it out. All you need is a film camera, a flash (powerful if possible), some infrared film (the Kodak one is going out of stock and is the best) and an infrared filter for the flash. Well, and glue, scissors and cardboard. Welcome back to primary!


K. Praslowicz said...

You read my mind. I've been tossing around the idea of making an IR flash filter for flash and strapping it to my Speed Graphic for about the past week or so.

J. Karanka said...

I hope that link helps. He also has some advices on how to calibrate the exposures of the whole setup. How do you setup a flash in the Speed Graphic, btw? I know one guy that has a Mamiya press camera and is using flashbulbs with it.

K. Praslowicz said...

I made my a homebrew adaptor to put a hotshoe mount into the socket where where the flashbulb normally goes. From there I just us a PC cable to synch the flash with the leaf shutter's x-sync.

J. Karanka said...

There, check it:

Sounds like you have a nice gadget as well!

Anonymous said...


Sad to hear about the Kodak film; last April, the message from Kodak seems to have been that the b&w would still be produced, but that the colour IR film would disappear.


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