As a fine-art photographer for the past nineteen years I've come up against my fair share of
technological challenges in photography. The shift from film to digital was monumental!
In this blog I'd like to share with you what I've found to be some of the most useful PhotoShop
techniques when working with my digital images. I hope that they will make your life a bit easier
as you work with your images. Have fun!

Welcome to my "Photoshop Tips for Photographers" Blog

Please Note: These tips have been prepared using Photoshop CS3.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Create an Infrared Effect

Infrared (meaning "under red") film gives a photo a dreamlike appearance. Scenes with a lot of green in them, like landscapes, work well as infrareds. In landscape photos skies become dark and clouds stand out very strongly. 

  1. Although the original use of infrared was intended for film, we can reproduce a similar effect with just a few easy steps in Photoshop. Here's how:  (click on any image to enlarge)
  2. Open your image and make a copy of your Background Layer. (Cmd/Ctl J)
  3. Next, create a Channel Mixer Adjustment Layer (from the Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of your layer's palette)
  4. In the Channel Mixer dialog box make sure the Monochrome box is checked so that your image converts from color to Black and White. Next move your green slider all the over to the right (+100) and your blue slider all the way to the left (-100). Then move your red slider to +100. Now you can fine tune your sliders until you get the black and white toning that you like in your image. Just be sure that the Total for the sliders comes out to +100%.

  5. Now we want to add a Filter to our Infrared layer but we can't add a filter to a the adjustments layers below so we have to create a Merged Copy Layer to apply the filter to. So with the top layer active hold down Shift - Option - Command (Mac) or Shift - Alt - Control (PC) all at the same time, and then type the letter N and then the letter E. Now you should have a fourth layer, a merged copy layer, that we can apply the filter to.
  6. So with the Merged Copy Layer selected go to the Filter Menu and choose Distort>Diffuse Glow.
  7. You'll get a new screen Diffuse Glow screen. On the slider bars choose settings similar to this:
  8. You can play around with the settings. They may be different depending on your image. But that's it! Have fun!

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