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David-Keochkerian-photographer-infrared-6 News & Insight

Beautiful Infrared Imagery Will Make You Pause and Stare

By Ryan Filgas on July 1st 2014

See the World in Infrared

Infrared photography is an area unexplored by most photographers because the barrier to entry is so steep, and getting special camera modifications requires risking your own equipment, or paying through the nose for a conversion. In addition to this, there’s quite a learning curve. Though infrared images tend to look nice from the beginning, the ability to make them great must still be developed like any other. Today I found someone who has overcome these challenges quite brilliantly and created a body of work that brings you to extremely beautiful worlds you’ve yet to see.

David Keochkerian is a photographer based in Amiens, France,  who started shooting infrared back in 2010 after seeing some examples on Flickr, the popular photo sharing network. He initially started off using a Nikon D70 with an external IR filter, but has only been seriously active for the last two years when he switched over to a modified version specialized for infrared photography. One of the advantages of which is the ability to use normal shutter speeds he says.




According to the photographer, the best time to shoot infrared is during the spring and summer when the foliage is green and the sun is out. His favorite pieces to shoot are those which allow reflections in the water, but most importantly places where the landscape is predominantly green.



This an oversimplification of his editing process, but it will give you an idea of what he gets in camera and how he achieves his results:


About The Process

The text here is in French, so I’ll explain the post processing method he uses. How he starts is a process called HDR, or high dynamic range. If you’ve heard the term before, you know it’s a controversial editing method that’s easy to abuse, but in this situation, is used to great effect. These images can be a compilation of four or more shots blended in Photoshop using layer masks. After the initial blending and white balance adjustment, the real magic begins and things get technical.


At this point the photographer swaps his color channels; here’s the train of steps you’d need to take in Photoshop to get to the bottom left image: Adjustments –> Channel Mixer –> Output Channel –> Choose the Red Channel (set red/green to 0% and blue to 100%) –> switch over to The Blue Channel (set red to 100% and green/blue to 0%). From there the post processing is straight forward and to the artist’s taste.

[PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT: HDR Photography Workshop Collection]

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In order to take the infrared images, David Keochkerian had his conversion done at where you can get infrared conversions starting at $325, though I was surprised to find they also do full spectrum conversions, ultraviolet conversions, anti-aliasing filter removal, scratched sensor repair, and special focus calibration for infrared light.

Here’s the gear David uses while out and about:


To find more of David Keochkerian’s work you can go to his website, facebook page, or 500px.

I hope you enjoyed the images, keep shooting!


CREDITS: All photographs by David Keochkerian are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.


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Ryan Filgas is an aspiring portrait photographer and studio arts major at Humboldt State University. His life consists of talking with friends, taking classes, and planning his next outdoor adventure. You can find his work on his website, Facebook, Google+, or connect with him via email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Jesper Ek

    Love the yellow or white trees!

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  2. Basit Zargar


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  3. Jesse Rinka

    Some I love, some are not quite my taste…but the ones that I love are…WOW….stunning.

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  4. Rafael Steffen

    This is a great article on how to develop crazy beautiful infrared images and then know how to work them on photoshop.

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  5. Gareth Roughley

    Inspiring images. I just might have to give it a go

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  6. Jordan Buckway

    Those images are amazing. I have always wanted to try infrared, maybe I will have to.

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  7. Brian Stalter

    I really like IR photography, but isn’t it a bit of a niche market? Is there much demand for it outside of landscape (or outdoor) photography?

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    • Ryan Filgas

      That’s certainly true. I haven’t seen a portrait photographer try to take portraits with it, since I think the result would end up making some variation of the smurfs. It could have other applications, but the main purpose for it would be art pieces alone I feel. Its applications for advertising seem limited.

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  8. Dave Kai Piper

    Awesome – I have been playing about with stuff over the years too –

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    INCREDIBLE !!!!!

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  10. Greg Faulkner

    Must be just me but I’m not struck on the images. They look like some iphone filter or another. Yea sharp and detailed and all that stuff but I just don’t like the colours to look at. Just my personal opinion.

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    • Ryan Filgas

      It’s definitely a taste thing, you either like it, or you don’t. Infrared is still very much a niche. Cool to look at, but people may or may not want it in their house. In this case you’ve got to really like blue.

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  11. Aaron Spencer

    Amazing Images!

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  12. Servando Miramontes

    Freakin…..incredible! And people say no one uses the D700 anymore….

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  13. Ryan Filgas

    Here’s part of the description on their website:

    “We replace the internal hot mirror filter with a high quality glass custom manufactured infrared filter. After the conversion you will not need any filters in front of the lens and the camera will be just as sensitive to infrared as it was to visible light. This means you can hand hold and compose as normal.”

    Doing it yourself would also require replacing that piece of glass, but at a higher risk of damage. Personally, I think the $325 is pretty cheap if you want to take high quality images.

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    • Dave Kai Piper

      I would love to know why he is not using a Canon though ? From the research I have done, Canon do far better with the conversions due to the way the sensor is set in the camera ?

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    • Ryan Filgas

      That’s a good question. The simple answer is that he’s a huge Nikon fan as he expresses on his website. He started on the system and never switched over, or saw a need to.

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  14. Mark Mirandilla

    captivating shots. simple yet very effective workflow…many thanks for sharing.

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  15. Ji Hoon Heo

    do you know what they do to the camera to make the conversion?

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  16. Rafael Castro

    Something I will like to try, nice looking photos.

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  17. Jared Stewart

    Wow. Amazing images.

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