Infrared photographing is capturing light beyond the visible spectrum. It requires special film, or a digital sensor that has had the infrared filter removed. Any digital camera has the potential to be infrared sensitive, but the process isn’t easy or cheap. Full spectrum photography is similar to infrared, but also includes ultraviolet and visible light (not just infrared light). With full spectrum photography you can choose by the use of filters which light you want to capture. You can use filters with infrared, too, to control what light comes through, but not to the extent of full-spectrum. A characteristic of both infrared and full-spectrum in black-and-white is deep contrast, with dark skies and white foliage. One of my favorite photographers is Mitch Dobrowner, who converted his Canon cameras to full-spectrum for dramatic monochrome storm photography.
When I purchased my Fujifilm X-T1, I had the intentions of converting it to full-spectrum, but the cost of the conversion has prevented me from doing it. I still hope to do so, maybe later this year or perhaps next year. We’ll see. But I figured out a way to simulate something that’s in the neighborhood of infrared or full-spectrum on my Fujifilm X100V without any conversions. In the right light and with the right subject, it can be quite convincing! Even though you are only using the visible spectrum of light, it can appear as though you are actually doing infrared photography. Amazing!
Even in situations where this recipe doesn’t resemble infrared or full-spectrum, it will still produce a dramatic, high-contrast look that you might find appealing. Those who have said that Acros+R doesn’t actually resemble the use of a red filter on black-and-white film will appreciate these settings. Many landscape photographers, including Ansel Adams, employed a red filter to achieve a dark sky (for example, Moonrise Over Hernandez).
The trick is to use a low Kelvin white balance in conjunction with a dramatic white balance shift when using Acros+R. I got the idea from Fuji X Weekly reader James Clinich, who uses between 3800K and 4500K with a 0 Red & +8 shift to achieve a darker sky, which is something you can apply to other B&W recipes if you’d like to better mimic the use of a red filter. I just took his idea a step further to make it even more dramatic for this recipe.
My Black & White Infrared film simulation recipe can be difficult to use. I find that it doesn’t always work well. It can be very tough to gauge the best exposure, and I’ve had to go anywhere from -1 to +3 on the exposure compensation dial to get it right. It’s one of the more difficult to use recipes that I’ve created, yet it is highly rewarding. If you like dramatic black and white photographs, you’ll want to give this one a try! As of this writing, it’s only compatible with the Fujifilm X100V, X-Pro3 and X-T4 cameras.
Dynamic Range: DR200
B&W Toning: 0
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain Effect: Strong, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: 2750K, -5 Red & +9 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Black & White Infrared film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:
See also: Film Simulation Recipes
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