Photography, Tutorials

Doing Some Trees in Infrared – Tutorial

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.


  1. 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.

    • 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.

  2. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

    • 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.

  5. Thanks for taking our hand through this .. the final result is fantastic with that extra tree.

  6. I liked the inverted adjustment layer quite a bit – it has that “otherworldly” appearance. Beautiful work.

  7. glmorrison says

    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.

    • 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.

  8. 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!

    • 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.

  9. oneowner says

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

  10. 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 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

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

    • 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.

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

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