I guess I should describe my post processing for my digital Infrared images. I use an old Nikon D50 that I modified to IR awhile ago when it was attacked and invaded by ants (seems the have a thing for Japanese grease and plastics) but that is another story that I will post again one day. So lets get down to the gritty task! This post has some clues as to how I visualize, process those visualizations, along with some rants and raves about software . . . this is just my own personal views, they may not work for others and lastly . . . NO, I do not have scripts, actions or one button solutions . . . each photo I create is as individual as a fingerprint in terms of how they are post processed.
I use a variety of different software packages to achieve the look of my final photos, I have also weaned myself from Adobe Lightroom and other Adobe products as I disagree with their business model and overly priced products (yes this is a personal choice and if you agree or disagree that is your choice), I have found that the OnOne Photo Suite products have stepped up and are super tools for what I use and do with digital processing and how they allow the use of LAYERS is the game they do best. I also use Corel Paint shop Pro Photo for my final post edits where I add my watermark and resize for various web purposes. Printing is done directly from OnOne. There are a few other programs I use like PhotoMatix and some other painting programs I use to create layers I will use in OnOne which after Version 9 perfect photo suite is my go to software for about everything else I do now. On occasion I still use LR4 or Capture One software for specialty cameras/camera-backs like my “PhaseOne digital back” that require their programs to import and convert their files to something I can import and open with OnOne . . . .
After the days shoot and I have uploaded my files to my processing PC I do the following.
– For all my IR I do a batch color channel swap “see link below for a quick howto on channel swapping”
– General editing process, LR4, Corel PSP & OnOne software as I love layering techniques and each photo is approached individually as I do not have any one button or one action solutions, The actions or effects in OnOne provide wonderful starting places and I will dissect a canned action and use parts in my manipulations as individual layers, OnOne has such wonderful tools for applying effects to precise elements,it gives me great control over areas in the photo.
– then it’s basically each photo is then denoised if applicable, sometimes I keep the noise if it adds to the charm.
– individual files are checked for clipping and highlights are recovered (that’s why I shoot in raw)
– any spotting or element removal if necessary or refining the basic crop
– any stylizing or manipulations are done at this point (saving as PSD files if I want to go back and change something)
– files are converted to JPG & resized for various usages
– finally they are posted or printed
This process or steps can vary in length of time (uploading & sorting does not count in my process time) dependent on how many files I will process, but the usual individual time per file is anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes max, with 10 minutes being about the usual amount of time I spend processing any file, I hate sitting in front of a computer developing FAS (Fat Ass Syndrome) . . . .
Links to techniques and other information
Lifepixel Basics of IR photography and Camera conversion as DIY is not for the faint of heart, and if you want something done right these are the people who will do it with a guaranteed end product, in other words worth the price for the service provided.
Software – OnOne Perfect Photo Suite (they have a free 30 day trial) well worth the money, Corel Paint Shop Pro (a good alternative to Photoshop), Photomatix is the king of HDR pre -post rendering, Capture-One by PhaseOne is a great alternate to Lightroom, I will bet you will agree that Adobe modeled Lightroom after this product as they were around long before lightroom I know I used their product with my PhaseOne digital backs. I use a great deal of different software, I am not attached to any one just the one that works best for me, I also hate being overcharged for software, after all . . . at what point does a hammer become more then just a hammer. Software is just a tool, the less I spend on trying to learn the software the more my artistic self can shine through . . . I dont want to dig the pigments, render the transport media, gather the hairs from the horse, whittle the brush handle . . you get the picture . . . scuse me . . . pun intended. I just want to create the picture ti relate what i felt when I pressed the shutter release . . .
Adobe Lightroom verses Capture One article
So go have fun and MAKE some photos