Rob Shea Photography Infrared photography tutorials, tools, and tips

White Balance on Green Leaves with 550nm Filter

Question

Can I set a custom white balance on green leaves with a 550nm infrared filter?

Answer

You can white balance on green leaves with high-pass filters from 590–740nm. It would be best to avoid white balancing on green leaves with high-pass filters using a cut-off of 560nm or lower. Avoid foliage for white balancing with these filters and use color-neutral subjects for white balancing.

The left image used a custom white balance set on grass. The right image used a custom white balance set on the pavement.
The left image used a custom white balance set on grass. The right image used a custom white balance set on the pavement.

Details

High-pass filters with a cut-off of 560nm or lower allow some visible green light to pass. Foliage is no longer color-neutral compared to higher-numbered high-pass filters since it will reflect green light in addition to infrared.

White balancing on green foliage only works well with high-pass filters that do NOT capture visible green light. When the green light is blocked, foliage only reflects infrared light, which is color neutral. Filters with a high-pass of 590–740nm can use green foliage as a white balance subject.

See examples in this video.

Ask a Question

Email your question to me.

Free eBook: Getting Started with Your Converted Infrared or Full-Spectrum Camera
Subscribe to My Newsletter
Lightroom Infrared Color Swap Profiles
Tip Jar

Affiliate Links
Kolari Vision Camera Conversions & Filters - USA and worldwide. I have 2 cameras converted by Kolari Vision.
LifePixel Infrared Camera Conversions & Filters - USA and worldwide. I have 3 cameras converted by LifePixel.
Full Spectrum International Camera Conversions & Filters - European Union and worldwide
KEH Camera - Great source for used cameras and lenses where I've purchased many used items.
SmugMug - Used for my portfolio since 2014. Save 15% off any new account with this link.
If you complete a purchase with these links, I will receive an affiliate commission. There is no cost to you. All opinions posted on this site are my own. I appreciate your support!