Live, learn and practice some more.

This is the continuing story of learning to see and capture infrared images with my newly refurbished Lumix G6 camera from LifePixel where I added a straight IR filter to the camera… (see Part One or Part Two)

Photographing with a camera that has had it’s sensor replaced by with an infrared filter makes IR photography MUCH easier than the olden days of film when fogging a roll was easy and focusing not so much. But as with all things photography making it easier doesn’t necessarily lead to stellar results. You still need to learn to ‘see’ in infrared. A helpful tool is the use of photographing in RAW +jpeg. You can set the camera capture mode to black and white The capture is in color AND black and white. If you have what you need and are happy with the ‘natural’ in-camera capture in black and white you are ready to go…

So far I am not.

RAW file to the rescue. As you saw in part two there are multiple ways of addressing the final IR image and many ways to get to the final image you have in your brain. We still have the words of Ansel Adams to fall back on to create a more artistic rendition of a scene. Paraphrasing for today’s world here, ‘The RAW capture is the score, the processing and final print the performance.’ Just as a conductor can get more out of his orchestra but pulling exhorting his individual musicians to do their best we can manipulate each pixel in each color space to give us the tones we desire.

Some of the things I’ve dabbled with…

Two or three different processing pulls from the RAW files for different areas of the image.

NIK Silver FX Pro 2. to convert to black and white and tweak ‘colors’ into the tones I was looking for.

Channel Mixer Adjustment Layer after the file was open in Photoshop.

Black and White Adjustment Layer.

Hue Saturation Adjustment Layers.

And mixing and matching all of the above techniques to taste…

infrared photo cathedral rock sedona az

We don’t have a lot of deciduous trees in Sedona, but the banks of Oak Creek lead a parade of trees down from Flagstaff. Having the color information available in the file and Layers and Masks in Photoshop allowed me to create the contrast and tones I was looking for…

cathedral rock infrared photo

Same scene from a slightly different angle and different processing lead to an image, while still BW IR has a totally different feel than the one above.

oak creek infrared photo

As always don’t forget to turn around… Many times there is an enticing image waiting behind you.

IR image cathedral rock in sedona

Moving off the creek banks led to this….

I see IR as a great new tool in my quiver. Makes photographing at mid-day very interesting. Can’t wait until I start to learn more about new capture and processing ideas to really push the look.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob