IR Postprocessing techniques.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by soup4you2, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. soup4you2 macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2007
    I've been playing around a lot lately with shooting with IR. I've read through dozens of capture and post processing techniques. But wanted to see what tips people may have, and their workflows that they love to use.
  2. emorydunn macrumors 6502


    Jun 5, 2006
    Austin Texas
    I would recommend Digital Infrared Photography by Cyrill Harnischmacher, it's a great book about (obviously) digital IR photography and it's got a good section on post processing.

    But to sum it up he offers several different ways:
    1) Black and White Conversion: Basically make the image grayscale while being careful of an over saturated red channel.

    2) B&W Conversion in Lab Colour Space: Convert to Lab Colour and make some adjustments.

    3) B&W Conversion with Channel Mixer: Just like it sounds

    After that he goes on to talk about optimising the images with various techniques. But the best part of the book is he talks about everything else needed to take an IR photo, not just post.

    Personally I prefer option 2, I think it gives the nicest image. In addition to that I found a Photoshop action that automates the process and produces a "false colour" which is kind of neat looking.
    The action and what it does is here:

    I hope that helps.
  3. valiar macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2006
    Washington, DC
    I usually swap red and blue channels in Photoshop, and keep my images colored.
    You can easily do it in Channel Mixer (set Red output to 100% Blue, and Blue output to 100% Red). This will result in dark blue sky and pinkish foliage on most common IR captures.
    The resulting image can be converted to b&w, and I find the results more pleasing than converting the original image.
    Alternatively, I desaturate/b&w only the red channel, and leave all the blues and greens untouched.

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