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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Digital postprocessing & workflow (Public) topic #66389
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Subject: "Infrared Photography via Post Processing" Previous topic | Next topic
jldodge Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Sep 2009Sat 18-Feb-12 01:19 AM
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"Infrared Photography via Post Processing"


Atlanta, US
          

Does anyone know of software that can convert a "standard" photograph (in RAW form) to an infrared photo? I am aware of the hardware conversion but wondered it it could be accomplished via software instead of the hardware.

I have a D70S that I am thinking of converting when I buy a new body. However, if there is decent software, I can take the pics in normal mode AND get the benefit of an infrared version via software.

Thanks in advance for any help ...

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scenicshutterbug Silver Member Nikonian since 27th May 2008Mon 20-Feb-12 12:49 PM
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#1. "RE: Infrared Photography via Post Processing"
In response to Reply # 0


Richland, US
          

A while back Eric Bowles posted this very helpful comparison of different methods of creating IR images. This may help you in your decision.

http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=set_threaded_mode&forum=196&topic_id=66166&prev_page=show_topic&gid=66166#66169

Karen

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Tue 28-Feb-12 09:25 PM
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#2. "RE: Infrared Photography via Post Processing"
In response to Reply # 0


Atlanta, US
          

IR is a wavelength of light - think of it as a channel like the Red/Blue/Green channels. Your camera normally blocks the IR channel so you cannot truly convert the a RAW image to IR only.

There are some software treatments that simulate IR. Most of these are B&W conversions. The link Karen provided includes a conversion using Silver Efex. The conversions essentially recognize colors and how they behave in IR and try to mimic those changes. So they darken blue sky, increase the contrast of the sky, and convert bright colors like green foliage to a very light gray. My experimentation also looked at B&W conversions which have some similarity.

What I found is that software does create an IR effect, but it is not a true IR look and with my test images was not very effective. All things being equal, I much prefer the contrast and lighting of a true IR image to a software approach. The big weaknesses were that the blue skies did not convert to a deep enough dark gray, and green foliage in the shade was much darker than the way true IR presents that foliage.

Now the advantage of the software approach is that you can convert any image. It might be better than a filter if you need a fast exposure. Fake IR might also work for subjects which require precise focus - like macro - which can be difficult with IR.

I would view software as a way to experiment with an IR effect to learn whether you like the effect enough to convert a camera. The camera converted images are much better and if you like software converted images, you will love true IR.

Eric Bowles
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