I bought a Canon 5D about two years ago and had it modified for infrared by MaxMax.com, which installed a 715nm filter over the sensor, allowing only deep red and infrared light to pass through. My initial intention when I started shooting digital infrared was to convert the images to black-and-white. When I used to shoot film, I sometimes used Konica’s infrared, which I scanned to make black-and-white inkjet prints. Since digital infrared images are still color images, they can exhibit a “false color” effect caused by the different response that each of the red, blue, and green photosites has to deep red and infrared light. Areas in the scene reflecting more deep red and infrared have a different hue than areas reflecting less.
I found that the introduction of a small amount of color to the image looked much better than simply converting it to black-and-white, and as a result, most of my infrared images are treated as color.
I mostly photograph landscapes using the 5D for infrared and a Canon 1Ds for color. Since converting the 5D, my work has been gravitating more toward infrared because I find that landscapes simply look more interesting in infrared. Foliage, for example, has more detail, and I like the false-color effect. My aim in infrared, however, is to try to avoid images that have a typical infrared look (a lot of white foliage and black skies). Frequently, I’ll tone down the color saturation because—especially after contrast increases and other processing steps—the color tends to get too saturated. I’m looking for a more subtle effect rather than wild colors.