Create an infrared effect in Photoshop

Learn how to reintroduce the infrared colour spectrum into your digital prints

True infrared exposures require expensive specialist film to reveal a spectrum of colours that are normally invisible to the naked eye, but by using Adjustment Layers in Photoshop you can mimic the effect with ease. This tutorial will show you how to apply a monochrome effect and enhance it to give the appearance of infrared.

1. Convert to mono

Open the image and create a new Channel Mixer Adjustment Layer, and click the monochrome button to convert to black and white. Increase the Green slider to +200. Set red to -60 and blue to -40.

2. Darken the sky

Darken the sky by choosing Select>Colour Range and clicking on it. Create a new Channel Mixer Layer and click the monochrome button. Input the following values: R: 50 G: 50 and B: – 00.

3. Add some glow

To create the glow effect, duplicate the background Layer and apply a Gaussian blur of 2 to it – then change the Layer blending mode to lighten, with Opacity of 50%.

4. Finishing the effect

Reduce the Opacity of the sky Channel Mixer Layer to about 60%. Create a new Curves Adjustment Layer and place this as the top Layer, create a slight S-curve to increase the contrast of the image.