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Doing Some Trees in Infrared – Tutorial

The Trees - 2

Over the weekend I received a request from Jim.  He wanted to know if I could help him with a couple of images.  He had taken some of lots of birds in tree tops. He was thinking black and white, and maybe infrared.  I have never does this before, but I was up for a challenge.  I had an idea of what I could do, looked up some tutorials, but in the end did it my own way.

tute1I started by opening the image up in Camera Raw, I like the different changes you can make in there.

tute2Hopefully you can see the changes I made there.  I have lightened it up a lot, and I tried to lighten the shadows as much as possible.

tute3The image was opened in the Photoshop CS6 and saved, image 1.

tute4The next step was to click on the Invert Adjustment Layer, it will do this to the image.  This was saved as well, image 2.

tute5Both versions were opened, then image 2 was selected, copied (Ctrl A, Ctrl C) and then pasted (Ctrl V) on top of the image 1.

tute6The image was blended with Multiply, that is just above the layers there on the right.  I also reduced the opacity of the inverted layer, but not by much.

tute7A Levels adjustment layer was opened and the image lightened a bit.  The only problem was the tree ended up too light.

tute8To correct this, a Curves Adjustment Layer was opened, and I darkened the tree, and lightened the sky, look at the curve, I have put arrows where I adjusted it.

tute9I then clicked on the Channel Mixer Layer, there I ticked the Monochrome box, and selected the Black & White Infrared in the pull down menu that has Custom written on it.

I have put some red dots on the image because I wasn’t completely happy with how those areas were.

tute10I used the Content Aware tool to make those areas better.  It took a few attempts.

The Trees - 1I also added a little gradient to the edges.  I am not sure if this is totally what Jim wanted, but it is hard sometimes trying to interpret what someone else wants.

I did another one as well.

The Trees - 2This one came out much better, and I like the atmosphere of it.  I hope you like it too Jim.

It was an interesting process.  I learned some new things about Photoshop, which is always a bonus.  I have had a request for a tutorial on Gradients, so I might incorporate that into next weeks tutorial.

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65 Comments Post a comment
  1. How cool! I want to try this one!! Thanks.

    December 10, 2012
  2. Fantastic! I love infrared! I hear you can have your camera converted to infrared only, but will be unable to do any other types of shooting. I need to invest in a good photo program.

    December 10, 2012
    • I couldn’t imagine converting my camera just for that. I have never done infrared really, I like the look of it, but it isn’t something that I would seriously do.

      December 11, 2012
  3. Much improved, well done!

    December 10, 2012
  4. Wow how impressive…

    December 10, 2012
  5. lovely post!

    December 10, 2012
  6. Very coo, Leanne. Lots of steps, but the result is worth it. I love the last picture. Marsha :)

    December 10, 2012
    • Thanks Marsha, wasn’t too bad, glad you liked it, thanks.

      December 11, 2012
      • :) Have a great day. I’t my bedtime!! ML :)

        December 11, 2012
  7. cool :) thanks for this.

    December 10, 2012
  8. The finished product is great. You are clever! Can you tell me how you do the red writing on your photos? I wanted to do it on Justin Beaver’s post this week but I couldn’t work out how to.

    December 10, 2012
    • Thanks Carol, of course I can, I just choose the brush, change the size to what you want, then pick a colour, and draw. I hope that makes sense. YOu can do it with the drawing tool as well.

      December 11, 2012
  9. Wow well done!!! I need to get more adventurous!

    December 10, 2012
    • Being adventurous can be a lot of fun. Thank you Wiwi.

      December 11, 2012
  10. Very impressive! Could you have done this in Silver Efex, starting with a preset?

    December 10, 2012
    • Thanks Andrew, I tried doing it in Silver Efex, but it didn’t seem to work as well. My first thought was to try it.

      December 11, 2012
  11. waw amazing :D

    December 10, 2012
  12. Never would have thought of that – thanks to Jim, for asking; and YOU for taking on the challenge!

    December 10, 2012
    • Thanks Marie, though I am not sure he liked them, I don’t think they turned out the way he was hoping, that happens. I did enjoy the challenge though.

      December 11, 2012
  13. This is just beautiful Leanne!!! As always, I love your tutorials and hope to be able to try to do some myself if I can ever find time… LOL This just looks great!

    December 11, 2012
    • Yes Keli, you will have to find some time one day. LOL
      Thank you. I love your comments

      December 11, 2012
  14. Love the infrared, never thought of doing that to a photo before! Thanks for inspiring me today! :-)

    December 11, 2012
    • Me neither, it was fun to have a challenge, I do like those.

      December 11, 2012
  15. Thank you for sharing this informations with us. I will try it — in the new year! This year I have a lot of work doing.

    December 11, 2012
    • YOu have been doing lots of work, I’ve seen it, as long as you like the information, that’s all that really matters. Thank you Susanne.

      December 11, 2012
  16. Thanks for taking our hand through this .. the final result is fantastic with that extra tree.

    December 11, 2012
    • You are very welcome viveka, it was a lot of fun doing this, I liked the challenge, thanks.

      December 11, 2012
      • You’re a fantastic support to us .. happy amateurs too. *smile

        December 11, 2012
  17. I liked the inverted adjustment layer quite a bit – it has that “otherworldly” appearance. Beautiful work.

    December 11, 2012
    • Thank you David, we used to do those in the darkroom. They are strange and weird, can look wonderful.

      December 11, 2012
  18. glmorrison #

    Reblogged this on Art Zines and commented:
    Brilliant advice and tutorials. Check out the photography as well. A special shout out and thank you to artists who teach, share techniques, like these.

    December 11, 2012
  19. This seems so obvious it has to be a dumb question :) – why not use the infrared filter provided by PS? …..

    December 11, 2012
    • There isn’t one Noeline, but there is one the channel mixer adjustment layer, but because of the type of trees it didn’t work very well, doing the inversion and then blending the layers, then doing the adjustment thing seemed to work better, got a better result. Believe me, I go for easy all the time. haha.

      December 11, 2012
      • Hmmm – they’ve obviously removed it since PS5. As I said, so obvious it had to be dumb :)

        December 11, 2012
  20. thanks for sharing.

    December 11, 2012
  21. You are so amazing! I love watching your talent and abilities grow! I must also add what you do is so above me all I can do is “like” and smile!

    December 11, 2012
    • Thank you Bonnie, it is a lot of fun and I do enjoy trying things out, I still have a long to go, but I am enjoying the ride. I’m glad you like what I am going.

      December 11, 2012
  22. oneowner #

    Interesting technique. I will definitely have to give this a try. Thanks.

    December 11, 2012
    • Thank you oneowner, hopefully you can follow it.

      December 11, 2012
  23. I love the white on black.

    December 11, 2012
  24. I wish I had lots more time to spend on your blog. I really learn so much! I also love these pictures you just improved.

    I lost my wordpress.com followers when I switched web host this week. If you were following me and did not get the updated post today, please follow me again. I would be grateful! Thanks and You really do have an encouraging blog!Many Blessings!! Diane Roark http://www.recipesforourdailybread.com

    I enjoy getting your e-mail updates and learning about taking better pictures. Blessings, Diane Roark

    December 11, 2012
    • What a lovely thing to say Diane. I know the feeling.
      I have been reluctant to do that for the same reason, I do like the workpress community. Good luck with the new site, I will see about popping in from time to time.

      December 11, 2012
  25. Such a wonderful outcome! You so inspire, Leanne!

    December 11, 2012
  26. Beautifully done, Leanne…what a great experience! Experimentation CAN be fun, can’t it, not just hard work!?

    December 12, 2012
  27. Excellent tutorial! Thanks.

    December 12, 2012
  28. I’ve never tried infrared before, but I love how these images turned out. Now I’ll have to tray it myself! =)

    December 13, 2012
  29. Amazing!! You’re truly very talented!

    December 13, 2012
  30. Oh wow! That’s awesome!! Thanks for sharing that with us :D

    December 30, 2012

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