Photos © Gary Rosenfeld
Infrared Film in Color Efex Pro 4 simulates Black and White and Color infrared techniques. This allows you to create stylized and impactful images in the infrared style in a quick and easy manner.
Traditionally, in infrared photography, the film being used was sensitive to infrared light. “Light”, as we know it, is part of the radiation spectrum that our eye and brain capture and see. This encompasses the various colors ranging from violet through blue, to green, yellow, orange, and finally to deep red. Light is measured by its wavelength and represented in a unit called nanometers.
Infrared light falls outside of the visible spectrum; the visible spectrum being approximately 390 nanometers to 750 nanometers. Infrared photography is the technique used to capture infrared radiation by extending films sensitivity from 700 nanometers to around 900 nanometers (and up to 1300 nanometers in the case of digital sensors), which is beyond the red. Essentially infrared photography allows us to capture and display a range of light that is not visible to us. The resultant images are often very unique and interesting, and can include any of the following: false-colors, dark skies, halation, and/or a vivid and dream-like appearance.
This filter has a few controls, enabling you to make artistic changes in a few moments. By taking a closer look at the controls, we can get comfortable with the possible effects.
Infrared Film filter control options
The Method drop down menu allows you to select either Black and White or Color film types; each offering different styles. There are 4 different Black and Whites and 5 different Color method options available that simulate different wavelengths of the infrared spectrum.
Method drop down options
The Lighten Highlights slider controls the luminosity of the highlights in the original image; 33% is the default value. Moving the slider to the left will decrease the highlights, while moving it to the right will increase the highlights. This slider operates on a range from 0% to 100%.
The Brightness slider is a global control slider that will increase/decrease the overall brightness of your image. It is set to 40% by default and operates on a range of 0% to 100%.
The Contrast slider is also a global control slider that will increase/decrease the overall contrast in the image. By default it is set at 25% and has a 0% to 100% range.
Tip: Use the Histogram in the Color Efex Pro 4 User Interface to view if you have any clipped shadows or highlights. Clicking on either box will enable you to have a visual cue to the clipped shadows or highlights.
Clipped Shadows show as red
Clipped Highlights show as green
You can then adjust the Shadows slider or the Highlights sliders accordingly to get the image where it needs to be to prevent any loss of detail.
Shadows & Highlights sliders
As you move either slider to the right the red or green will disappear, bringing detail back into those regions of the image. You can then click on the Show Clipped Shadows or Highlights button to turn off the visual cue.