Traveller, Photographer, Mountaineer, Human

Infrared Trials

A few months ago, I bought an infrared filter (720nm) to try and take infrared pictures.  I was using the Canon 7D and the 15-85mm lens.  The combination is good but post-processing the pictures from Lightroom to Photoshop is a nightmare.  I have the Photoshop installed but somehow it is not connected to the Lightroom and saving the file in Lightroom as TIFF then opening the file in Photoshop is too much of a bother.  Furthermore, I can’t get the colors to come out pleasing (right color is not an issue since everything in infrared is false colors – right color only means red).

Last weekend when we visited Lake Mapanuepe, I have the OM-D with its kit lens and my infrared filter, plus a tripod.  We also had excess time on the second day so I had time to experiment and take shots.

The Olympus 12-50mm is ok for infrared.  There is a slight hotspot in the middle of the lens which may or may not be seen depending on the processing (the slightly brighter spot just above the hill in the second picture).  The lens/filter combo creates FLARE when the sun is very near the edge of the frame (see third picture).

Getting white balance and colors is one of the hardest thing to do in infrared.  I read somewhere to set the white balance by using grass or leaves as a basis, which I did for these set of pictures.

I like this picture as it is my first semi-successful IR picture.  Everything is golden as I can’t switch the red and blue channels in Photoshop without causing unsightly colors.  The resulting color is a compromise.  I’m still not very satisfied with the contrast though (compared to many IR pictures found online).

This second picture is actually my first attempt this time.  I like the colors of the leaves (almost white) and the contrast but the sky’s a mess.  I thought that shooting raw will give me latitude when editing colors but I guess I’m too wrong.  The upper right corner of the frame turned black.

Third picture is of the large tree under which we camped.  For some reason, it is not as clear as the others.  Possibly, because of the lots of shade in the picture, it required a longer exposure and the wind rustled the leaves creating a more blurry picture.  The color of the leaves are ok but still with a pinkish tinge while the rest is yellowish.

So far those are the three semi-succesful IR pictures.  I’ll work on it until I can get the pleasing colors of IR.


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