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How the magic is done - Infrared photographer

Infrared cameras are known to produce photos with an almost dreamlike apperance. The skies look darker and the reflections from water appear more clearly. Today, Thaib Chaidar will show us how he created his infra red photo "The photographer".

CANON 350 D, Exposure 1/800s, Aperture f/8.0, ISO 100, Focal length 16mm.


I was actually very lucky to find this beautiful place. It's an area where fishermen bring their boats. The photo was taken around 7 A.M. with this beautiful morning light.

Since it's one of the few infra red images on 1x,  I want to tell something about this image

. â€¨It's a single shot, with a CANON 350 D camera, adapted for infra red photography. 

In Indonesia there are some people who are experts in turning a normal digital camera into an infra red camera by implementing an  'hot mirror' , allowing for infra red photography without the need of special filters

I am very happy with his results and especially the mood I created in this photo by using an infra red camera. I was also very pleased with the response of the viewers on 1x and the many comments and favourites I got.


For my editing I use Adobe Photoshop CS 3. I always start with a RAW image. First of all I used the channel mixer to obtain the color tones and balance I wanted.

In the red channel output I applied a setting of 100
In the blue channel output, I changed it to also to 100.

Trough these settings the color of the sky and the sea turned reddish blue, while the trees become more yellow.

Then I optimized further the tone levels in the highlights, mid tones and the shadows by using 'curves' and 'hue saturation' settings

Further local tone adjustments were made by using masks on different parts of the image (tree, water, bridge and person).


⁃ For this kind of images you need of course an infra red camera of infra red adapted camera (special filter in that case).

⁃ Shoot in RAW and use the extended processing possibilities of the RAW image.

⁃ Look for unique locations. It always will give an extra boost to this kind of images.


Thaib Chaidar is an Indonesian photographer who started working with photography in 2006 as a part time assistant. Today he has a photo company of it's own. He is well known for his strong documentary photos from many different Indonesian enviroments.