Photography Tutorials

Infrared Photography - Part 2 - Editing

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How to Edit Infrared Photos in Photoshop and Lightroom

In this video tutorial we show you how to edit infrared photos from the raw red image that comes out of the camera.

If you have never seen Infrared Photography before then come and feast your senses. Capturing the light normally invisible to human eyes opens up a world of creative possibilities that would otherwise not exist.

This video tutorial is split into two parts with the first part showing you how to capture the raw infrared image whilst on location. This second part will guide you through the post processing where we bring our plain red image to life.

Watch part one on capturing the image. http://www.firstmanphotography.com/tutorials/infrared-photography-part-1

To shoot infrared photography you do not need a special type of converted camera. The only requirement is a small investment in an infrared filter that will attach to your current lens. These filters remove all the colours of the spectrum apart from the wavelengths at the extreme red end which includes infrared. I recommend the Hoya R72 Infrared Filter and this can be purchased for between £30 and £90 depending on the size of your lens, see the link below. The only drawback with this filter is it lets only a small amount of light through so to properly expose an image it will require a long exposure. Whilst this makes portraits tricky there are still endless possibilities in the realm of landscapes and cityscapes and there are not many photographers out there doing it. Just check Flickr to confirm this.

The characteristics of infrared light differ from that of 'normal' white light we are used to experiencing everyday. For example, green foliage such as grass and trees reflect a large amount of infrared light meaning they will be very bright in your final processed image. This is known as the 'Wood Effect' named after Robert W. Wood who pioneered Infrared photography. It is caused by the transparency of chlorophyll to infrared light allowing the light to pass through into the cells of the plants and be reflected back again. Viewed normally, chlorophyll will reflect all the green light back giving leaves and grass it's green appearance.

Capturing infrared photography in this way requires a long exposure. Please see the long exposure tutorial here:

http://www.firstmanphotography.com/tutorials/long-exposure-photography-tutorial

Hoya Infrared R72 Filter

Removing People With A Long Exposure

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Expose for longer and the people will definitely leave.

Often as a photographer you are faced with a scene that would be absolutely perfect were it not for one thing. People. The selfish people simply do not appreciate your artistic vision and understand that they are not required in your shot. This is particularly the case at a famous landmark, nature spot or city scene in front of a beautiful old building where you have no chance of keeping everyone out of your shot.

Not the sort of people to give up easily, we must consider our options for removing people.

Photoshop them out

The tools available in Photoshop to remove things from our images are becoming evermore sophisticated and effective. However in a many scenes this will detract from the overall quality of your final image so we turn our attention elsewhere.

Exposure

We are not talking the indecent kind, although that could potentially work too, it is probably not recommended. No, we are talking about slotting your camera into Bulb mode and cranking the exposure right up to 11. With a nice long exposure you will very effectively remove anything from your shot that is moving. The longer the exposure time, the more chance you have of taking the slower moving, and temporarily stationary, people out.

Last year whilst in the Lake District I headed over to Castle Rigg Stone Circle with a solid plan. Thanks to it’s ancient history it is a very popular site and people are free to climb on the stones. It is always especially busy around sunset just when us photographers are trying to capture the best light. On my arrival, there were a lot of frustrated photographers trying to catch that tiny moment when no one was in shot. I knew it was not going to happen so I doubled up my 10 stop and 6 stop ND’s and went for an 8 minute exposure to remove even the most stubborn spoil sports who insisted on staying still for a good few minutes at a time. My relaxed attitude seemed to cause a few of the other shooters there some confusion as I stood back removing people with my long exposure. It turned into a bit of an impromptu workshop on how to capture long exposures and everyone would have gone away happy if only they had brought their tripods.

removing people with a long exposure

How to capture long exposures will be the next major video tutorial to be released here soon.

This article was first released on Medium at https://medium.com/@AdamKarnacz/removing-people-with-a-long-exposure-e25a5b859f8c