Color infrared photos with Raw Therapee

3 min read

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jant-photo's avatar
By jant-photo
Color infrared photos in just two steps. I wanna show you the first main steps in editing infrared photography.
To go from this: 
Begin by jant-photo that:
Result by jant-photo

The program I've used is the free RAW developer Raw Therapee aviable for Windows, Linux and MacOS: :-)

After opening your picture you have to do a manually 
white balance adjustment. The camera software itself is not designed to do white balance adjust for infrared pictures. Thats why the picture has this massive red tone. Just choose the "spot white balance" tool and click on an area in the picture that normally would be green.
1step by jant-photo
As result you get this:
1step After by jant-photo
Now the sky has a kind of brown tint. If you want to have a blue sky you need to mix the color channels as following:
Red channel: red:0 green:0 blue:100
Green channel: red:0 green:100 blue:0
Blue channel: red:100 green:0 blue:0

If you won't do this every time my hand you can made yourself a profile or simply download mine ;-)


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And that is basically everything!

I've noticed that the result is different from my works that i do in photoshop but i think it depends on what kind of raw converter you use, and i also did some other processing on the picture.
On Rails by jant-photo

I hope it helps. Feel free to comment. ;-)
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would love to try the presets but the can't download the zip file. 404

Thank you for posting.  I am downloading Raw Therapee right now.  What you've posted is exactly what I want to do.

Question - if I try out your profile posted above, will it work in the Raw Therapee 5.4 program, on a Mac?

I like your results.  I have a Leica M8.2 camera, which is fine for taking IR photos - but it's a struggle to be able to do what you showed up above!!
jant-photo's avatar
I don't remember what version i've used but i would guess it's still compatible with newer versions. Try it. ;-)
C-Asepsis's avatar
Hey, das ist cool! Hab mich noch nie gewagt Infrarot-Bilder zu machen. Aber bei dem Ergebnis werd ich das wohl mal machen müssen
jant-photo's avatar
Macht Spaß; ;-) Auch weil man vorher nicht so genau weiß wie die Bilder werden.
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