White Balance and Digital Infrared Images

We test various white balance settings for infrared images and come to the obvious conclusion.
As part of our ongoing coverage of digital infrared we decided to do the obvious, so you don’t have to, of tested what is actually the best white balance setting when shooting digital infrared. The test was done with our converted for infrared 350D camera, but is also applicable to unconverted cameras.

The camera came with a custom white balance after the conversion at MaxMax.com
White Balance for digital infrared photography

Auto
White Balance for digital infrared photography

Daylight
White Balance for digital infrared photography

Shade
White Balance for digital infrared photography

Cloudy
White Balance for digital infrared photography

Tungsten
White Balance for digital infrared photography

Fluoro
White Balance for digital infrared photography

Flash
White Balance for digital infrared photography

A new custom white balance
White Balance for digital infrared photography

So, it is obvious that a custom white balance gives you the most monochromatic infrared image. This was obvious before we did it, bust as I said at the start, I do these dumb things so you don’t have to. But I also believe in showing you rather than telling you, so you can choose for yourself.

Follow the instructions for your camera for setting a custom white balance. And of course if you have a camera that doesn’t let you , you can still fix it in Photoshop. But I found working with a custom white balance when shooting gives me a much better idea from the camera LCD of what the eventual result will look like. With the heavily colored images, this can be a bit harder to visualise.

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No Responses to “White Balance and Digital Infrared Images”

  1. MauricioMay 21, 2009 at 10:01 am #

    Hi, I have my 30D converted also by maxmax.
    I am taking my very 1st images on IR.
    When setting to custom wb, my images still look red.

    Should I have some sort of custom wb image in order to make them monochromatic as your last image in this post?

    PLease shar on what setting should I have on my camera for this result
    Thanks

  2. WayneMay 21, 2009 at 1:38 pm #

    I would do another white balance of the camera. I can’t remember what you do on the 30D to do this but it will be in the manual. Then shoot on the custom white balance. Depending on the filter you have in the camera you will likely still get some residual color but it should look much better. Alternatively, if you are shooting RAW, in your RAW software, such as Adobe Camera RAW, choose a custom white balance and slide the color temperature way down.

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