Recently have been eager to try my hand at infrared film photography. I've only done black and white film and color film so far, and have had experience in altering my negatives in post for interesting effects.

The specific type that I am looking to try is color infrared film, which I am guessing is used in work similar to Neil Krug's work: https://www.google.com/search?q=neil+krug&espv=2&biw=1745&bih=883&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMI6MfelObUxwIVgiaICh0VHQak

However, being a newcomer to infrared film, I am not 100% if that is the reason for the saturated and vintage look we're seeing here. What is done to get this very effect?

Also, about the filter used in infrared film, is it a red filter or yellow? I've read online people are using both, but what type of filter is needed for it?

Any input helps, thanks a lot!

  • Welcome to Photo.SE Unfortunatly, google biases your search results based on your browser history. Please include an image link to specific images you would have us help with.
    – SailorCire
    Sep 2, 2015 at 1:30

2 Answers 2


The only color infra-red film is that of the classic Kodak Ektachrome EIR slide film. The tech sheet for it can still (at this time) be found at Kodak. The following images are from that tech sheet. Kodak discontinued EIR in 2007.

This is a rather odd film as one can see in the spectral sensitivity curve:

enter image description here

Things that are bright in the infra-red are red (anti-cyan). What is blue is black, what is green is blue, what is red is green, and what is bright in IR is red.

enter image description here

A search for Kodak EIR will find many images that were shot with this film (google image search).

Images will look like:

enter image description here enter image description here

Note the dark (visually) grass is bright in IR (it reflects the IR quite well) and so looks red. Often, this film is used with a yellow or orange filter to avoid that area less than 500nm where the cyan layer starts picking up sensitivity again. The yellow or orange filter would further darken the grass and enhance the IR nature of it.

So, quite simply - no. Those images were not taken with IR film. Saturated and a 'vintage' look are not an artifact of IR film. Otherworldly would be a better name.


I wouldn't like to sound like capitain obvious, but first of all you have to open your mind to the possibility that 90% of the picture you saw by clicking on that link are post-processed. There is this method called Cross-Processing, which alters the color of your picture and that is nowadays very popular amongst photographers. The pictures you are showing could be then a result of this technique by using red and yellow as "main colors". Infrared images are pictures that are taken only within the infrared spectrum, which is nothing like visible light. As far as I know, infrared films capture a scale of greys depending on the infrared frequency emitted by the source. Some film used to capture visible light too, so if you wanted to filter the last frequencies, you would have needed of course a filter (let me explain this a little bit later). Now, there is a variety of methods to obtain (so called) "infrared photography" images by using post-processing software too, so once again don't think people obtain what you want to achieve with analog-cameras. Most don't.

About filters: knowing now that infrared photography could not exactly be what you mean, if you desire to snap pictures with an analog camera loaded with infrared (color) film (assuming you still have one - since they have been discontinued) and you want to use a filter to obtain "infrared pictures", then buy an infrared filter. This kind of filter blocks all the visible light and lets only IR radiation pass through. This has nothing to do with red or yellow, since those colors are part of the visible light's spectrum.

If you, anyway, want to achieve a particular effect with your pictures, by using normal filters (red and yellow for example), then my suggestion would be to experiment with red filters (frequency-wise red is the nearest color to infrared spectrum).

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