How to make Infrared-looking Photography with Photoshop:

Infrared photography is gaining popularity, but if you don't have an infrared camera, how can you get a similar result? Let me show you!

Holà como està? I mean Bonjour! Hello you! It is great to see you here, I have news for you, a cool trick that you’ll probably love!! I am going to show you how to make your photo look infrared-looking with Photoshop. Usually you will need a special camera or different film to achieve the infrared look but with different tools in Photoshop we can recreate this look pretty cool right?

I would like to credit the website Photoshop Creative for a tutorial they did on infrared Photoshop retouch, because I got inspired by their free tutorial, I just added a bit of a Serge Ramelli touch to it, anyway you can check it out here.

As usual, if you want the RAW files for this tutorial and all my other free presets and goodies, just subscribe to my newsletter here. You can also follow along on my video tutorial for this lesson here.

So let’s started in Lightroom with this photo:

Just so you know most of the people who do infrared photography use a special camera that only does that, with a sensor that has been especially modified for it. Or the people that use film use infrared film. When you have nice blues and green it usually looks nice, it doesn’t work on all photos.

Let’s start the retouch of this photo first, I am going to retouch it for the infrared look.

I shot this in Vincennes in the suburb of Paris.

So let’s jump into Adobe Lightroom!

Step 1. Adjust the Highlights and Shadow. First thing I did was I brought the highlights to -100 and the shadows to +100 as usual. (If you’ve read my tutorials or watched my videos, you know this is part of my workflow. You can get a more complete statement on why I do this in almost all my photographs by reading this how to article here. )

I want to keep my photo not too contrasty, a bit washed out so I am not going to do my Whites and Blacks.

Step 2. Adding initial Clarity adjustments. But I add a bit of Clarity +27 to give more character to the photo:

Step 3. Enable Profile Corrections. Go to the Lightroom Lens Corrections panel and choose Enable Profile Corrections. It is a simple thing that can remove distortion caused by the spherical nature of the lens glass. Remove the chromatic aberration in case there is any:

Step 4. Apply some Noise Reduction. I just set the Sharpening at around 60 and the Noise Reduction at around 15. Then I do some Masking (+32) to make sure that the sky doesn’t get sharpen:

Step 5. Edit the Photo in Adobe Photoshop CC: I select all the photos, right click and choose Edit In> Edit in Adobe Photoshop CC:

To do this trick you can use any version of Photoshop but you have to have Photoshop.

Now, I am going to show you all the steps to get the look but at the end I am going to show you how you can install this as an action to make it faster. So then you could just click on the action and get the infrared look.

First I duplicate the layer in pressing command G, then I name the first layer InfraRed:

I put this layer in Overlay:

Now it is very contrasty, that is why it is good to start with a washed out photo. Then I put the Opacity at around 60:

Then I add an adjustment layer called Channel mixer:

First I am going to press monochrome so everything goes black and white:

I set the red at 100, the green at 200 and the blue at -200, it is already a pretty crazy look:

Then I put the Channel Mixer in between the two layer so the bottom layer and Infrared layer:

It already gives an interesting color but let’s continue, I select the first layer then I go to Image> Adjustments> Hue/Saturation…:

I select the Yellows:

I set the Hue at -130 and the Saturation at +40 and press OK:

Voilà ! It already have the look but to finish the look I add a level:

You can play around with the level until you get the look that you want, I move the middle button a little bit to 0,71 to darken the photo a little bit:

Now I select the three first layers and I right click and select group from layers:

I name it IR for Infrared and I press ok:

Check it out, before:

And after:

In Photoshop Creative’s tutorial they add some blur because Infrared photos are usually blurry so they go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur:

They add 10% Blur:

If you want, you can follow step by step what I just showed you and try to do it with your photo or you can subscribe to my newsletter here and get the action, so you have the infrared look directly and to install it, it is very complicated! You just have to double click on it:

Let’s take a new photo to show how to use it, I just go to action right next to layer and I select the Infrared action not the folder but the action itself to apply it to my photo:

And press play et voilà:

You can even play with the layer and the level:

You can lower the opacity to have a more natural result but if you are into Infrared photos you probably not into getting a natural look for the photo:

You can start from the action and just play around let’s try on this photo:

Same you can play with the levels:

You can try this action out a different photos but just make sure that your photo is not too contrasty. Here you go we have three infrared photos:

It is a very cool trick and it is pretty popular on the web so check it out, try it out for yourself and if you liked this article then there one thing left to do … Share it !

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