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Infrared with Photoshop

I’ve been quite intrigued with the look of infrared photography for some time. Since I don’t consider myself to be any kind of photography pro, I’ve hesitated to invest in a camera that can do that sort of thing…but along to the rescue rides my faithful Photoshop CS3! Now that, I’m willing to spend money on!

I’m sure that an infrared expert can easily tell the difference between the real thing and my PS manipulation, but I’m still pretty happy with it:

I can’t give you exact settings to use, because each image is different. Also, there are many different ways to get the same effect with Photoshop, so use the tools with which you are already the most familiar. This really isn’t a beginner project, but anyone willing to spend the time can probably come up with something pretty nice!

1. Super-saturate all your blues and greens.

2. Select the foliage and other green areas. With the "marching ants" visible, add an adjustment layer for the Channel Mixer. Check the monochrome box, and increase the green channel to the maximum, sliding the other sliders to the left so that the total is still around 100%. This will brighten up the foliage.

3. Add another adjustment layer for the Channel Mixer, and this time lowering the blue and upping the red to make the sky turn dark.

4. To create the foliage glow, use the same layer mask as in the green Channel Mixer step. Add that mask to a duplicate of your background layer, using the Lighten blending mode and a small Gaussian blur on the duplicate image.

5. Add a layer of film grain or noise to the top of the stack, using the Overlay blending mode.

Copyright 2008 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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