You Too Can Shoot Infrared Film!
9 Jul 2009
(1) roll of black tape
(while it lasts!) Ekfe IR820 Infrared 120mm Film rolls
(optional) 52mm Snap On Lens Cap
1) Screw it! The step up ring screws directly into the plastic surrounding the lens as you can see in the main photo above. Not only will you be able to use the 52mm Hoya Infrared filter now, you will also be able to use any 52mm filter on your Holga after you screw on this step up ring. I also bought a new 52mm lens cap and leave the step up ring on my Holga 120N all the time. I would imagine that with enough screwing on and off with the step up ring, you will wear out the plastic surrounding the lens.
2) Up load! Unlike many other infrared films, the Efke brand is very easy to handle. I load the film in very subdued light, but there is no need to load it in complete darkness.
3) Tape 'er up! As much as I love light leaks, infrared film costs way too much for me to allow it to be completely ruined. Only when I shoot IR do I tape up my Holga. I tape up the seams and cover the red film window in the back of the camera with black tape. After each exposure, I peel back the tape to peer into the window so I know how far to advance the film. Then I put the tape back and cover the red window.
4) Mount it! A tripod is a necessity since we will need to use exposure times one second or greater. I don't know about you, but after 3 Starbucks Doubleshots, I can't keep my hands still for 1/50 of a second, nevermind a whole second or more.
5) Composition, composition, composition!Infrared film makes the sky black and vegetation (to varying degrees) bright white. Look at my image Coventry. Where is the image the brightest? The darkest? The whole point of infrared film is to take advantage of infrared light. Make sure you capture vegetation or other surfaces that best reflect infrared light.
6) Fire away! The trickiest part of infrared photography is exposure times. I use 1 second in bright sun, 4 seconds in the shade, and 8, 16, or 32 seconds in deeper shade.
7) Fire again! I bracket my IR photos and you should too. Because infrared exposure times are not an exact science, I will try at least two different exposure times for each scene. I mark down how long each exposure was and try to learn from it for the next time.
8) Questions? I am always happy to chat with other plastic camera aficionados and novices. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a fun time shooting!
9) Go forth and multiply! What are you doing still reading this? My instructions are done. Get outside and start shooting!