Wordy Wednesday #223 “RAW Color to Monochrome IR”


Most of my (and anybody else’s) infrared images are a departure from reality. But last winter when I went for a chilly walk around a frozen Bingham Lake, I ended up making some images that had a nighttime feel to them.

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 8.40.19 AMThe image was shot with a Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens (at 12mm) and a Panasonic Lumix G5 that was converted to infrared capture by LifePixel using their Standard IR option. The photograph was captured with an exposure of 1/200 sec at f/16 and ISO 400. This resulted in a slightly underexposed file that I tweaked for exposure in Adobe Camera RAW. I then imported the image into the free Silver Efex Pro and used the default preset—I usually suppress the grain by moving the slider all the way to the left—and tweaking Contrast, Brightness and Structure.

Next I applied the Glamour Glow filter from the free Color Efex Pro and moved the Glow slider until I got the “Midnight” look you see here. I could have pushed the image further using other sliders to add a blue tone—it’s a picture done in different shades of a single color— but felt it would be gilding the lily. Or as my mentor, the Late Eddie Bafford, often said when working in the traditional, wet darkroom: “There needs to be someone with a 2×4 to hit you ‘upside your head’ when you get carried away (with darkroom manipulations.”)

In my experience, I’ve found that LifePixel does a great job with IR conversions. You can get $50 OFF with Priority Processing Upgrade by using coupon code:farace-ir50. Don’t miss out on this soon to expire offer, order your conversion today!IR.book.cover

My book The Complete Guide to Digital Infrared Photography is currently out of print but you can get an affordable used copy or not-so-affordable new copies of the book from Amazon.com.

Author: Joe Farace

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