What to shot in IR
The most rewarding subject to shoot in infrared are sunny outdoors scenes, especially with lots of foliage, grass, and water, preferably with some nice, white clouds in the sky. Morning and evening sunlight is richer in infrared than midday one, so the glowing Woods effect in the foliage will usually be more pronounced. As always in photography, this, however, is not an iron-clad rule. Sometimes an image shot under a cloudy sky may carry a strong visual message as well. For example, I like the one shown in the preceding section. I shot another frame at the same location on a sunny day, and it was, I would say, more trivial.
Buildings, especially with bright walls, look really good on the background of the dark, almost-black sky. Some people recommend IR for shooting cemeteries, as the subject goes well with the unreal feel of the medium — but, after all, how many cemetery pictures can you take?
Don’t limit yourself only to the bright greens and dark sky. Even scenes without those telltales of infrared will have a different tonal gradation than a “normal” picture converted to B&W. The eerie atmosphere of IR pictures goes well with adventurous, off-balance composition. Remember the pictures you were taking as an 18-year old, aspiring photographer? Try that again.
Infrared is not a common medium for people shots, but I have seen some very good IR portraits. Outdoors portraits or nudes with the surrealist background may have a strong impact. The skin becomes more white, with most imperfections (and texture) gone, which may be related to the partial transparency of its outer layers to the longer wavelengths, and the porcelain-like tonality can be quite interesting.