I find infrared imagery to be magical. Here’s a way to add even more life to an infrared photo. As you probably know, Photoshop is my post-processing mistress. It’s quite powerful in making huge — and subtle — changes to a photo. This is a relatively subtle change that can have a big impact in how your IR photos are perceived.
Photoshop toning of infrared
Your initial processing of an image will be the same as always. Make a solid black and white IR image. Then start working the Adjustment Layers in Photoshop. Images in this post made with Lumix G6 camera (no longer made) and the Lumix G Vario 14-140mm lens (B&H | Amazon).
Here is a recipe using the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer for sepia tone. Settings were Hue 30, Saturation 10 and Lightness 0.
Thanks to my fellow photographer Tom Cheswick of Cheswick Photography for sharing this recipe with me about 18 years ago. This is set as a Photoshop Action on my computer. Still like it. Still using it!
Let’s go blue
Here’s another look using a different process. The final tone is made in Photoshop with a Photo Filter Adjustment Layer. Here’s the Layers Palette.
A Curves Layer was added to darken sky. Layer 1 is a merged from the Background and Curves. NIK Filters Glamour Glow filter was utilized, too. The Soft Light layer was employed to enhance shadows and highlights to add depth and dimension.
The Photo Filter Adjustment Layer had a Cooling filter (82) with a black mask added. Selective toning was then done using the Brush tool, set to white at a low opacity, to add final color.
I’ve shown you just two of the myriad possibilities for enhancing your infrared photos. I’d love to see what you come up with! The infrared conversion was done by LifePixel.
Yours in creative Photography, Bob