Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Faux Infrared



In the good old days of black and white film photography, we could create powerful scenic images with infrared film. It produced black skies, and light foliage. Clouds stood out dramatically from blue skies.

As film exited the scene, some savvy technicians figured out a way to turn a regular digital SLR camera into one that could reproduce those high contrast images of a bygone era. While they work well, it can cost $300 to $500 or more to convert a digital camera into one that takes infrared-like images. Not everyone has a spare camera to devote to this permanent conversion, or do not want to incur the cost, or do not want to carry an extra body around that can take only high contrast black and white images.

Well, here's a simple solution. Use Lightroom to create a very similar look. it is amazing how simple it is to create infrared-looking images in Lightroom from your original color files.

Notice the difference between the two images above. The BEFORE image is perfectly fine, but has no drama compared to the AFTER image. Notice how Lightroom successfully mimics infrared film by creating a very dark sky, bright clouds with detail, and light foliage. The texture of the mountains is enhanced as well.

It takes a little bit of tweaking to create this look, but it is not difficult, and it does not take a long time.

This technique, along with many others, will be taught at the upcoming Lightroom 6 Unleashed workshop coming up on November 7, 8, and 9. It will be held in Northern Virginia and registration has begun. This information has not been posted on the Awake The Light website yet, so for more information email us at, or call 757-773-0194 for more details. The limited spaces are already filling, so don't miss this opportunity. Group size will be kept small. This is a hands-on full immersion workshop with a lot of personalized attention.

Shutter Speed 1/400 sec.  Aperture f/9.  ISO 400.  Lens: Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS, set at 70mm.  Camera: Canon 5D Mark III.  Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument."  -Eve Arnold

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