Wow! I have been shooting Infrared for 3 years now and am on my second converted camera. I was looking for a reference guide that would bring together all the knowledge of infrared photography. Rob, thank you for producing this fantastic guide and manual for Infrared entusiasts.
As you had stated in your preface, ‘The path to great images is filled with twists, turns, roadblocks, and dead ends. I have traveled down this path, and I would like to be your navigator.’ Congratulations, you have made this path to awesome IR photography much straighter and very logical.
Thank you and I look forward to more videos and books.
What is Infrared Photography?
Infrared (IR) photography is bold, surreal, and otherworldly. Unlike standard photography, it captures light not visible to the human eye. While commonly used with landscape photography, IR can be paired with any genre of photography.
As the name suggests, Color Doesn’t Exist: A Practical Guide to Infrared Photography is the practical guide to the world of infrared photography. Even for experienced photographers, infrared photography can present many challenges. The path to great images is filled with twists, turns, roadblocks, and dead ends. I have traveled down this path, and I would like to be your navigator.
This book is focused on learning. It makes a complex topic open and accessible to any photographer. I strive to be straightforward, easy to understand, and comprehensive, like my videos and articles. My goal is for you to get past the typical stumbling blocks of infrared photography and explore your creativity.
Pitfalls of Infrared Photography
IR photography was first popularized with infrared-sensitive film. Today, most IR photography is done with digital cameras. While digital cameras have made it easier to capture infrared images, there are still pitfalls. Lens hot spots, white balance, focus, increased diffraction, and color swapping make IR photography more challenging than visible light. Each of these topics is covered in depth.
Cameras & Lenses
Can I use any camera to capture infrared images? Which lens will produce hot spots when shooting infrared light?
Do I need to convert a camera for infrared photography? Which camera should I convert? Is converting a camera risky?
Which filter should I use? Which filters can I use with an unconverted camera? Which filters are best for vivid colors? Which filters are best for black and white infrared images?
How do I white balance infrared images? Do I need to white balance when shooting? Can I set a custom white balance on grass?
How do I focus in infrared light? What settings will produce sharp images in infrared?
Do I need special profiles for my camera? Which raw editor should I use to edit infrared photos? Can I edit infrared images without a software subscription? How do I process infrared images?
Who is this book for?
Photographers of all skill levels will benefit from this volume. If you have never shot in IR, the Quick Start Guide will help you get started with your camera by adding just one filter. If you want to convert a camera, you’ll gain confidence in your choice. If you are learning infrared photography, read a chapter to expand your knowledge in a specific area. If you are an expert in infrared photography, this book makes a great reference guide.
Here is a list of the chapters included in the book.
Quick Start Guide
- What Is Infrared Light?
- Color Temperature
- Converted vs. Unconverted
- IR & UV Filters
- Visible Light Filters
- Filter Form Factors
- Filter Recommendations
- White Balance while Shooting
- Subject, Light & Color
- Monochrome Processing
- Profiles for White Balance
- White Balance while Editing
- Color Processing
- Lightroom Hue Mask
- Enhanced Profiles for Lightroom
- Color Balance & Color Grading
- Raw Editors
- Color Space
Live Stream Walk-Through
Rob’s book covers the whole gambit of infrared photography. It discusses the equipment, the settings and different approaches to this genre, as well as the editing/processing of images. It is the ‘go to’ guide for me. There is surprisingly little in terms of authoritative guide books on this subject and those that are available are not, in my view, as easy to digest. The fact that he has links in the book to associated aspects, from which lenses work best for IR, or how to create your own profiles, through to actions to streamline your workflow and much more, simply adds to the value and assistance that this book provides. When you combine this with his ongoing and ever expanding helpful videos, it’s difficult to think of anyone who is better placed to offer help and advice on this unique photographic genre. Definitely worth the asking price IMHO.
This book is well thought out in structure and contains a wealth of knowledge. As someone who has only just started out in Infrared photography I’ve realised two key points. 1) There is a huge range of variables in this genre and 2) the books on the topic seem quite poor until I found this book. An excellent companion in my new journey of discovery.
Well detailed information and photos.
I am a long time infrared shooter and still find it so helpful to have a inspiring and informative book on its wonders!
Very concise overview of if photography. Well written and easy to follow instructions. Thanks Rob.
Great book with lots of useful information and easy to follow.
This is really an excellent text that is well written and clearly explains the theory and practice of IR photography.
A great resource for beginners all the way to those experienced in IR photography.
A truly excellent resource!
As someone who has had the good luck of following Rob Shea’s YouTube channel and blog since they were started it comes as no surprise that his book Color Doesn’t Exist: A Practical Guide to Infrared Photography is an excellent and comprehensive resource for anyone interested in infrared photography. The information in the book is well chosen, and presented in a well-organized and friendly way, as is the case in the videos and blog articles. Also, the book is beautifully laid out and produced, with many outstanding photographs.
The book is very suitable as an introduction to infrared photography, as it covers everything a beginner needs to know. However, the book is much more than an up to date and complete recap of standard information on infrared photography, as it also covers Rob’s unique contribution to the development of color infrared image processing, a method that allows all steps to happen inside Adobe Lightroom, without taking a trip to Photoshop. This is not just a huge convenience; it also very significantly improves the ability to control colors in a way that leads to aesthetically pleasing results. To be honest, it is a game changer that you are not likely to find explained elsewhere at this point in time, as it is Rob’s recent invention.
Also, the book is a valuable complement to the currently more than 80 videos on Rob’s YouTube channel. Partly because it presents the whole subject in a well-structured way, partly because sometimes it is simply easier to locate a specific piece of information in a book than among a lot of videos. And once you locate it in the book, there will often be a reference to a video that goes into details.
In summary, I highly recommend the book.
This is a very well thought out and easy to read book. Rob has a unique talent for explaining sometimes complex information in a very understandable way. This book is an especially valuable resource if you are just starting out in infrared and Rob answers a lot of critical questions regarding camera choice, filters, lenses, and more backed up with great illustrations and real life photos. This is a great tool in my resource library and I refer to it often. Rob’s extensive knowledge on infrared photography makes it easier and faster to get up and running in this fun and creative form of photography. There is also a ton of advanced information in this book for those who want to dig deeper and work on some of the more technical aspects of IR. Lots and lots of very usable information here.
Comprehensive, concise. Invaluable, comprehensive information that explains the science of infrared. Identifies the powerful tools available in Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw, and Photoshop in such a way that I feel resolved to master them.
A more comprehensive and cogent exploration of IR photography than Rob Shea’s COLOR DOESN’T EXIST just…doesn’t exist.
Great book. Clear, lucid and explains IR photography in an easily understood manner. Highly recommended book.
When will the book be available?
The eBook edition is available now! Order Now
I would love to produce a print edition! The eBook was designed to be “print-ready”. I’m currently exploring options to produce a high-quality, full-color, print edition. I will announce it in my newsletter as soon as it is available.
Will the eBook be available in epub or PDF?
The eBook edition is in the PDF format. It can be challenging for book readers to display a quality experience for instructional content with images. The PDF format ensures a consistent presentation, looks good on monitors, laptops, and tablets. The layout will also be consistent with the upcoming print edition.
What is the best way to view the eBook?
The best way to view the eBook is with Adobe Acrobat Reader. Acrobat offers multiple viewing options, bookmarks to each chapter, and full text search.
Are you considering offering both the print and PDF editions at a single price?
It will depend on the details of the print edition.
Will the book be available in languages other than English?
I’ve received requests for translations of the book. I would love to make this book available in multiple languages. Translation can be a complex and challenging issue, but I’m open to exploring the potential.
How do I download the eBook?
Use the Download button in your email receipt. Depending on your browser and any PDF viewer plug-ins installed, the file may open instead of downloading. The Acrobat browser plug-in offers a “Download this file” button in the upper-right corner, which can be used to download the file. If you are not able to download the file, reply to the email receipt and I can send you a direct download link.
Will there be an audio book?
In a world…where color doens’t exist…one man strives…to see…light that cannot be seen.
About the Author
Rob Shea has created over 80 YouTube videos specific to infrared photography, including detailed tutorials, photo shooting and editing guides, tips, tricks, raw editor reviews, and product reviews. He offers free downloads to help process infrared images and has developed new techniques to simplify the complex editing workflow for color infrared images in Adobe Lightroom. He received five awards in Kolari Vision’s second annual Life in Another Light photo contest, including First Place for Kolari Pocket, Second Place for Black and White, and three honorable mentions for Infrared Landscape, Black and White, and Kolari Pocket.
He enjoys shooting infrared landscapes while hiking and traveling. His work explores the many styles of infrared photography, researching technical challenges and sharing these learnings via YouTube and his blog.