Infrared Photos of Clouds and Contrails

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Infrared gives great contrast to clouds and contrails, bringing out detail that might be missed. Especially as they fade away. So I thought it might be nice to have a thread to share these types of photos. Feel free to add.
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Try it with a polarizer.
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Interesting, you do get even more contrast. Not a lot of clouds in the sky right this moment.

Also, with the polarizer on the autofocus stopped working. I switched to manual, and this one photo turned out super sharp. I wonder if the autofocus is a bit off with the IR. Experiments needed.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I got my longer filters today. There's a strong difference between the 720nm and the 950nm, which lets through less light (obviously).

The 950 gives more contrast between sky and vegetation, but less contrast within vegetation, so the trees look more white and washed out.

720 left, 950 right, drag to compare.
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
950nm really needs a tripod. It gets a slightly higher contrast sky, but often ends up a bit blurry.
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I switched to 760nm, which seems like a reasonable compromise.
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Really though, I've not sure seen a huge improved in close-ups of planes leaving contrails. Maybe a bit clearer, but it's hard to get an exact comparison.
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
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Mt Shasta from 32 miles away. 760nm

Check out how well it cuts through the haze. The color photo is an iPhone, so low resolution, but the haze difference is obvious. See especially the low hill in the foreground compared to the mountain.
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