Combo Apps/Infrared Mobile Photography Chapter 1

IR Mobile Photo - 1

Infrared Photography has been something I wanted to get into ever since I went to the LifePixel website. I wanted to convert my DSLR sensor so I could take IR photos with them. I never got a chance to do this because in 2010 iPhone 4 changed the way I take and edit photos. This idea/project has been in the back of my head for the last 4 years.

There will be more blog posts to about Infrared Mobile Photography. Right now I wanted to publish my findings, so other can follow along or maybe other mobile photographers are trying to do this project too. My other goal is to be able to shoot IR photo a rather than use apps to get the IR results.

This is a whole new frontier because my only resources are coming from DSLR users, Fickr Group Discussions, DSLR bloggers and LifePixel. I have found anything on Google on mobile infrared photography or anything publish on this subject. Everything I’m about to publish are going to be trial and error blog posts. I’m prepared for the long road ahead with many frustrations along the way.

*The top photo was taken with Hueless and IR filter.*

My Beastgrip with IR Filter

Chapter 1: This is what I’m using at the moment, my iPhone 4S, Beastgrip and Polaroid 37mm IR720 Filter. Eventually there will be more mobile gear added in future blog posts on this subject, for now I want to keep it simple. At the end of the blog I will give you a list of filters, mobile gear and other things about IR photography as a whole. Below will be a camera app list that will be linked to the app store.

App List:

ProCamera 8
NightCap Pro

There are more camera app you can use but these are great to start with because of their adjustable settings and controls within these apps.

IR Mobile Photo

I did run into my first problem with mobile IR. Do you see that white halo in the photo ? That is a HOT SPOT !!! I’m trying to learn how to correct this problem. My first goal is to take IR mobile photo properly with using apps to correct my mistake. So it’s a serious learning curve and I have to look into more mobile gear and check my camera settings. I did a lot of reading and this is a common problem. When you edit your photos, the hot spot gets worse and you can’t cover it up.

IR Photo Test - 1

I tried taking photos on overcast day because I read sunny days are prone to the hot spot problem. I shot up in the sky at clouds on an overcast day. I still get the white ring hot spot but it’s not as bad. I even tried putting a 37mm over the IR filter but I still got the ring and vignetting. I know I’m going to have to mess with the camera settings and controls. I did take this photo with ProCamera 8 with a high ISO setting. Normally when you use an IR filter, you have to do longer exposures to let light through. Another thing I wanted to add was I got a 720nm IR Filter because I wanted to get fake color in my photos for future editing. There are lower and high number filters but 720nm is the all around best to start with.

IR Photo Edited wtih Snapseed

I did edit my photo with Snapseed but I wasn’t pleased with the results.

IR Photo Edit with Photoshop Express

Then I edited my photo with Photoshop Express. I like the results a little better but I’m not truly satisfied with the edit.

So far the mobile IR is a bust but I refuse to give up, I know I can make this project work. This is a whole new learning experiences for me. I doing this blindly but I will learn from my mistakes. There will be more blog posts to come along in the future. Right now I wanted to publish what I’ve learn so far. Even if these results weren’t great, I’m hoping someone will find this blog post and leave helpful comments. If anyone has advice and helpful hints, please leave comments. I want to make this project a success !!!

Website: LifePixel, Digital Infrared, Infrared and Picture Correct.



About ashcroft54

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12 Responses to Combo Apps/Infrared Mobile Photography Chapter 1

  1. Yogi says:

    Try “closing the aperture” of your ir lens a bit (make a smaller o shaped cover for the lens …. Maybe thats the problem with the hotspot … 😉

  2. rjllane says:

    Hello Ashcroft54 (Tina).

    If I understand, you are placing a filter that only admits IR wavelengths through to your iPhone 6+ – Is this correct?

    I believe that iPhone cameras have had anti-IR filters built into them since the iPhone 4. You cannot disable this filter, so it will block the IR light from reaching the sensor. This would defeat you from taking true IR shots.

    I don’t know what wavelengths are getting through on the images you have shown here. Have you done the standard trick of taking photos in a drak room of things lit with the IR beam from a TV remote control (or similar IR source) ? Could you see anything?

    🙂 … MomentsForZen (Richard)

    • ashcroft54 says:

      I’m using a cheap IR filter and getting IR light through to iPhone 4S. I’m experimenting with iPhone 4S first then I’ll move onto the 6 plus. Even DSLR camera have an anti IR filter on the sensor, You can have your sensor changed by sending it to LifePixel or doing it yourself. There are even websites that will offer converted DSLR camera bodies for sale. You can shoot IR photos with any camera as long as you can light coming through it.

      I got some advice to adjust the f stops, mess with the white balance and keep experimenting. I want to crack it. Then maybe write the tell all eBook later with all my findings. It’s an area hat hasn’t really been explored. Even in the DSLR and point/shoot world, there are problems with certain lenses with IR photography. From what I read Nikon lenses seems to the worst with Hot Shop and odd flares with water spots showing up. There are a few Canon lenses that will not work with IR converted sensors or IR filters. I’ve been doing the research on digital IR photography for 8 years.

      There are 1000 anomalies with IR photography in general. I love a good challenge !!! Plus I’ve started the ball rolling on this and I’m hoping others will come forward or try to do with me.

      • rjllane says:

        Hello again Ashcroft (Tina).

        Thanks for going into more detail on what you are doing.

        Your observation that you are getting IR light coming through the Apple camera anti-IR filter tells me that their anti-IR filter isn’t all that good!

        Some of the artefacts that you are seeing might be reflections going backwards and forward off the various lens and sensor elements in the light path for the camera. This would be very difficult to eliminate or even attenuate. The suggestion to use a pin-hole aperture would reduce the reflections by restricting light to the central (and best) part of the lens and sensor light light path.

        I look forward to hearing how you get on.

        🙂 … MomentsForZen (Richard)

  3. I don’t have any helpful hints or ideas but I am extremely interested and will follow and support you all the way as I really hope that one day someone will make it possible to take IR Photos with a mobile phone. I’m not even cluey with IR DSLR photography but just know that IR Photography is a world on its own with the most stunning images and I just wish it was possible to do IR Photography with a mobile phone….. Tina, with your will, determination and knowledge you will crack it and make this a success. Add me on your list of supporters 🙂

  4. Thank-you for this !

  5. Yogi says:

    Btw – when I said lens above , I meant filter … (Although changing the fstop of the iphone would help if you can do it …) – that would help with chromatic aberrations and with uneven angle-dependent attenuation if it exists (vignette)

  6. Yogi says:

    Downside might be less light on the sensor and more noise …

  7. Yogi says:

    Sorry for the multiple posts … Just to make it even more simple ….
    Try to make a small hole in a piece of thick paper or cardboard and try to take a picture with it on the filter (or between the filter and phone) in the line of sight of the camera …

    • ashcroft54 says:

      That’s my plan. I’m going to get some black construction paper and cut it all out. Then I’ll put it on my Beastgrip then put the filter on top of it. No problem with the posts, they’re very helpful. I’m happy to get any kind of helpful information doing this project. Hopefully more people will find it through Google searches and give me more information.

  8. I love what you guys are up too. Such clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the awesome works guys I’ve added you guys to my own blogroll.

  9. Pingback: Combo Apps/Infrared Mobile Photography Chapter 2 | COMBO APPS: Mobile Extreme Editing

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