Sunday, May 27, 2018

Infrared Post Processing in Lightroom

In a previous post I discussed the latest Lightroom release's new profile feature, and how it is a boon to those shooting in the infrared bands.

In this post I'll show a few examples, all processed in LR, and discuss how I approached my post processing.

The first thing to mention is the lens I was using, as the Kolari Vision data base ( indicated that my 18-55mm EOSM lens was a good performer at F/10 or wider: that is it should have a minimum IR hotspot.

From my shots today I clearly had a central hotspot, and a left to right colour shift: although I can't yet say that is down to the lens. However, as we will see in this post, these 'features' can be dealt with in LR.

Before discussing the post processing, it is worth mentioning my (EOSM) in-camera approach:
  • Obviously I had Magic Lantern running (I used the latest Lua experimental fix build)
  • I had my Focus Bar script on, and the IR correction set in the FB script's menu
  • I had ETTR on, with a min shutter set to 1/30s, as I was handholding
  • I had the aperture  set to F/7, but I may widen this next time, ie to reduce the hotspot
  • I used SET to trigger the ETTR solution
  • As I was shooting landscapes, with not much in the near field, I used the FB script to find a focus solution beyond the hyperfocal
After ingesting into LR I applied my IR profile, corrected for the lens and carried out an Auto Tone correction. These simple steps take the image from the horrible to the OK:

The final step, as I was not doing a round trip to Photoshop to correct pixels, was to use the LR sliders, the radial filter (to sort out any hotspots or off-colour 'patches') and LR's HSL sliders to 'tidy up' the look.

I like to get a blue sky (obtained by the using the channel swapping profile), and slightly desaturated look to the foliage. The final image looked like this:

Here are four more images from today's walk:

I hope this short post has convinced IR shooters that you don't need Photoshop to achieve a false colour look: Lightroom is your IR friend - as is Magic Lantern, of course!

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