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Infrared Photography


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Hi Damien,

I took 3 black and white photography classes in college and I fell in love with the effects of infrared.   Of course, this was film back then.  How do you create the effects of infrared to black and white and color digital images? 

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I would have to scan my black and white images (they are prints I did in the darkroom from film)  to show you what I have done with infrared but I don't have time at the moment.  The best I can do is show some examples of others work.  This is black and white...

http://www.bostonphotographyfocus.org/tag/infrared-photography/

 

And this is color...http://sublime99.com/33-beautiful-infrared-photos/

 

They are gorgeous and I want to learn how to do it in Ps.

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Well, it's my understanding that DSLR's have some kind of IR sensor inside of the camera that would not make it possible to achieve in camera.  Though, I could be mistaken.  
When I did IR photography, it was with a film camera and a #25 red filter over the lens.  The film, I'm pretty sure is obsolete.  The last class I took at the Community College, the instructor told us to stock up before they don't make it anymore.  It's very sensitive film, very precise way to handle it and process it.  I loved it.  LOVE the effects.  Now that I'm completely digital, I want to learn how to create it.  Now, I just have to get out and take some landscape photos.  ^_^

Edited by Tina Bremer
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The trick to this - in digital as in "real" IR - is to find seriously blue skies to photograph.  We need that strong red channel component of a rich cyan/blue sky.

The photo you've provided doesn't have that blue we need.  What else have you got?

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Well, with some fiddling you could make something a bit IR-ish, but it's nowhere near as good as really nailing that blue sky.

tina.jpg

I'm out of my depth here, but isn't there a filter you can put on your lens for that sky?  A polarising filter, maybe?

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When you're browsing your photos, and you find one with a sky that you think might work (a really rich blue one), open it in Photoshop and go to your Channels panel.  Click on the Red channel to see how it looks.  You'll quickly know if it's a good candidate for IR.

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Well, that's just it.. I really don't know.  When I used IR film in my film camera, I only used a red (#25) filter over the lens.  I will have to get out and take more landscape images and play.  Thank you for trying, though.  I appreciate it. :D
I could try putting the red filter over the lens...and see what happens?  But the film was black and white so maybe put the camera in monochrome?  Maybe?

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Hell no, not a red filter!!!!!!!  And hell no, never put your camera in monochrome mode.

I just checked with Lara, and she said yes, it's a polarising filter you need.  She said it works best in the middle of the day, when the sun is highest.

5 minutes ago, Tina Bremer said:

Thank you for trying, though.  I appreciate it. :D

It's not about "trying". I can do this, very easily, once you give me the right photo.

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I asked because I didn't know.  I didn't mean to insult you, if you took it that way.  I am sorry.  

I ask questions when I genuinely don't know the answer.  I have a polarizing filter.  And those images were shot when the sun was high.  I will spend some time this summer now that school is out to take some more landscape images. 

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Nobody would ever do this, of course, but let's say ... hypothetically ... if you were to google "rich blue sky photos", then open some of them into Photoshop, and check the red channel as I described earlier, you'd (hypothetically) see what I mean.  Hypothetically ....

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Just to clarify, as it seems there might be some confusion here -- the polarizing filter is to enable you to take a photo with a truly rich blue sky, which would be suitable for giving the IR effect **in post.**

The red filter business is for getting the IR effect **in-camera.**  (Which you can do with modern DSLRs only if you hack one and make it a dedicated IR camera only.)

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