Stormy Weather in Infrared

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

In infrared photography, the “Wood Effect”refers to the bright to white reproduction of the chlorophyll layer found in deciduous plants. The effect is named after IR photography pioneer Robert W. Wood (1868-1955) and not after the material wood, which in fact does not strongly reflect infrared. 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 shot: that I made with a Canon EOS 50D that was converted to infrared-only capture by Life Pixel. 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 read my post “Infrared Camera Conversions: What’s the Best Option?” For other posts about IR photography on this blog, click on “search this site” box an type ‘infrared.’

How I processed this shot: I opened the RAW file in Adobe Photoshop, then used  Silver Efex Pro using the default preset. The image was a little noisy because of underexposure and I typically suppress “grain” 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 in PixelGenius PhotoKit 2, that does lots more than toning.

Update on Photokit 2: PixelGenius is closing down 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 with used copies selling for $7.86, as I write this. Creative Digital Monochrome Effects has a chapter on IR photography and is available from Amazon with used copies starting at $3.99, less than the price of a Starbucks latte.