Post Processing the Infrared Grist Mills of Rhode Island
I have just now getting around to post processing the Rhode Island section of The Great 2 Week Grist Mill Trip! I cannot believe that I am so behind… Oh well, better late than never! Since completion of the trip I have had 2 other Grist Mill Trips with a ton of photos in the que! All of these images were taken on my Olympus E-PL1 Full Spectrum converted IR system using the Oly 14-150mm lens with a B+W 091 630nm filter.
As you can see I processed for both Faux Color and B&W IR images because you just never know how they will look unless you try!
Does everyone understand exactly what a Faux Color Infrared image is? It is likened to the old Kodak HIE IR films of the 80’s (I actually designed the silver salt growing system for that film while I worked at Kodak!). In modern converted IR digital camera systems the images are true IR images, but since the sensor is RGB we have a lot of color data there! To get to what the film was capable of producing we simply swap the data on the Red and Blue channel of the image in Photoshop, fine tune the colors in NIK Viveza and work from there! Just because it is described as a Faux or False Color IR image doesn’t mean that it is so!
The B+W 091 is a little more on the red end of the spectrum so the images tend to (when Faux Color…) lean more towards the pinks and reds.
Basic Post processing is as follows:
- After conversion of my RAW files in Capture One Pro v6 I then do my critical deletion edit using Bridge. This is perhaps the most difficult step. You have to look beyond low contrast off color images and see what they can be. Look for coloration (this will get better with time), emotional impact (yes you CAN do this! I have several BLOG postings here that talk specifically about this one…) and sharpness and exposure. Think about each and every image in terms of Faux Color and B&W! When finished, I then open the images one at a time in Adobe Photoshop CS5 with ALL of the NIK filters installed.
- I did my normal cropping to my master storage size of 12.5×8.5 making sure that the image was at 300dpi and in the Adobe RGB 1998 color space
- I ran NIK Software’s Define 2.0 for noise reduction. For this I simply accept the default settings!
- I then ran NIK Viveza 2.0 and specifically added 20% structure and 10% extra contrast without any control points so that the changes affected the entire image! This was to create a brighter deeper image before I ran the channel swap Photoshop Action! WOW! WHAT A DIFFERENCE THIS MADE!
- I then ran the channel swap action and proceeded as normal with the rest of my Post Processing Recipe! This is the Khomography Photoshop Action that you can download here towards the bottom of the right hand menu! The action swaps data between the Red and Blue image channel and allows you to adjust the Hue/Saturation in the Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue & Magenta color channels separately!
- In the action select the Red, Yellow, Cyan and Blue channels and adjust each of them using saturation and hue to get the image elements to start to fall into place. Pay careful attention to the Cyan channel adjustment as most of the time the sky takes on a green/aqua tint which looks terrible! Simply adjust the Hue of the Cyan channel to fix this!
- Now, Calling up Nik’s Viveza again I will select specific elements of the image with control points. I will add contrast and structure then adjust the primary colors R,G and B to adjust the specific color of the compositional element to achieve the overall color I want for it. You can also use the Warmth Slider to add or remove warmth. This entire process takes only a few moments to do if you understand your basic color wheel and how to mix to change! This process will give you your final ball park image!
- THEN I called up another of NIK Software’s world class filters and ran the TONAL CONTRAST filter in the COLOR EFX PRO plugin. The result was this incredible image full of contrasts tonalities as well as contrasting colors!
Rather than simply place the images here in the post separately I am going to try Word Press’s new Photo Gallery. Simply click on any of the images that you see to bring up a nice slide show!