Photographing Stormy Weather in Infrared

by | Nov 1, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

When talking about infrared photography, the Wood Effect refers to the bright to white reproduction of the chlorophyll layer that’s found in deciduous plants. The effect is named after IR photography pioneer Robert W. Wood (1868-1955) and not after the material wood, which does not, in fact, strongly reflect infrared light. While you may not think you can’t shoot in digital infrared on a stormy day, this shot shows the results when you do. I’m not a scientist but I guess the deciduous trees have stored enough chlorophyll to reflect in today’s featured image.

How I made this photo: The subject was a barn located on a farm that I walked by on my daily walk back when I lived North of Denver. The photograph was made with a Canon EOS 50D that was converted to infrared-only capture by Life Pixel. The lens used was a Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC at 42mm. Exposure was 1/250 sec at f/10 and ISO 800. For more about IR camera conversions please read my post Infrared Camera Conversions: What’s the Best Option? For other posts about IR photography on this blog, click on magnifying glass icon at top right and type ‘infrared.’

How I processed this image file: I opened the Canon RAW file in Adobe Photoshop, then launched Silver Efex Pro using the default preset. The image was a little noisy because of underexposure and I typically suppress “grain” in Silver Efex Pro by moving that slider all the way to the left to “soft.” Then, I tweaked the image using the Contrast, Brightness and Structure sliders before applying the Glamour Glow filter from Color Efex Pro. I finished it off with the Platinum toning option that’s part of PixelGenius PhotoKit 2, a plug-in that does lots more than just toning.

Update on Photokit 2: PixelGenius closed their operations and ceasing development of their  products. The company wants to make sure those people who purchased their software will be able to continue using their plug-ins for the foreseeable future when product activation is turned off. Therefore, they’ve released all of their products—PhotoKit, PhotoKit Sharpener and PhotoKit Color—as freeware without requiring serial numbers or activation.

Life Pixel does a great job with IR conversions and they have done most of the conversions for my Canon DSLRs and all of my Panasonic Lumix G-series cameras. This is not a paid or sponsored endorsement, just my experience.

My book, The Complete Guide to Digital Infrared Photography is available from Amazon for with new copies available for $40 and used copies starting around twenty bucks, as I write this. Creative Digital Monochrome Effects has a chapter on IR photography and is available from Amazon with new copies at $16.99 with used copies starting at a little more than two bucks, as I write this.