How to process IR photos?

Wasabi Bob

Mu-43 All-Pro
Nov 23, 2010
New Jersey - United States
I just picked up an R72 IR filter so that I can get acquainted with IR photography with my GH2. I've captured several photos and would now like to learn how any of you who do IR photography process the images.

Any help would be appreciated!
Happy Holidays


Mu-43 All-Pro
Nov 26, 2010
I always shoot in RAW as the 12-bit images give real advantages in processing--the tonal range and distribution can be strange in IR and the bit depth really helps. I use Adobe Camera RAW. I convert to grayscale and use the curve. Noise reduction tools can be useful as well. I also open the image as a 16-bit file in case I need to do some more work in Photoshop. Expect softness and a loss of resolution in your IR images in comparison to your white-light images.

If you have never used curves, there are really only a few things you need to know. Usually a 45 degree diagonal line is on the display. Moving the curve above the line brightens those tone groups. Moving it below darkens them. If the slope of your line is greater than 45 degrees, you are increasing contrast.

The left region of your curve is the shadows; the right is the highlights. Mostly you only need to use two or three points on the curve (every time you click on a curve you add a point). Excessive number of points probably indicates you are in trouble. But that is the good thing about RAW, you never change the original image data so you can always go back and try again.


Mu-43 Top Veteran
Jun 15, 2016
Gosh, its painfull to see all those techniques.
Here are two easy ways:

1) in camera white balance
Put IR filter on the lense, and use white or green paper sheet to adjust your in camera white balance. save it to achieve close results at almost any circumstance. You will probably get IR Picture with one or two different color chanels. Edit them to your hearts content, and photoshop skills.

2)Capture one pro.
Try it... i mean it. Its the only software that i know, which is able adjusting IR white balance propperly just by using eyedropper tool.

straight out of the camera, with not so propper "Green" WB. Usually, i don´t even swap colors, just make the whites pure white, and small sharpening/microcontrast adjustments(yeah its not sharp - handheld IR rules%))))
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and thats the post processed thing.

IBK_höttinger alm_bath.jpg
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