Simulating an Infrared Photograph in Photoshop

This effect works really well for landscapes, etc with lots of foliage. Experiment with different types of shots. The only guideline is that the original image needs to be in RGB color mode. This tutorial was created using Photoshop CS, but it should be easy to figure out the slight differences in various versions of Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro.

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Step 1. Open your image in Photoshop.

Step 2. Create a Channel Mixer Adjustment layer. You can do this from the “Layers/Channels/Paths” palette.

Step 3. Click the “Monochrome” button in the Channel Mixer window. To make the photo have that infrared glow, you want to “overdo” the green slider by taking it as far as it will go (200%). To keep the photo from being “blown out” looking, you will need to adjust the red and blue channels into the negative side. Your percentages should always equal around 100% so play around with the red and blue. I used -30 red and -70 blue for this shot.

The photo now looks something like this:

Step 4. To add some glow to the green foliage, click on the “Channels” tab in the Layers/Channels/Paths Palette. (Make sure that the picture layer is your active layer and not the adjustment layer first by clicking on the picture thumbnail.) Now select only the Green channel.

Apply a Gaussian Blur filter to the green channel (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur). I used a 5 pixel blur, but you can play around with it some. Don’t use too much, though.

The photo now looks something like this:

In order to get rid of the outlines around the leaves, we now need to fade the blur out a bit. This is done with the “Edit>Fade Filter” command.

Play around with the percentage of the filter you want to show. I set mine to about 30%.

And that’s all there is to it. Here’s my final image: