Can PhotoLab process infrared images with channel swapping?

One of the reasons I enjoy my Leica M8.2 so much is because it does not contain an infrared blocking filter, meaning I can shoot photos easily capturing the results with an infrared filter. I discovered accidentally that my Fuji X100f does the same thing.

I used to edit the images in Photoshop, using a technique called ‘channel swapping’ - rather than say much about it, here’s a web page that explains it in detail:

This is the key to make it work: " Go to the menu and choose Image –> Adjustments –> Channel Mixer… Now you can change the Red Output Channel and set the value for Red to 0% and change the Blue value to 100%. On the Blue Output Channel you set the blue Source Channel to 0% and Red to 100%. "

I captured an infrared photo from my Fuji this morning, and was wondering if it is possible to accomplish the same thing in PhotoLab 5. I doubt the DxO engineers thought about infrared photography, but maybe they put these tools in place for other reasons.

If anyone else wants to work at this, I’ll post the image from the Fuji, and my .dop file which only has minimal changes.

I suspect I can do this with the HSL tool, but I don’t see a way of viewing each channel independently.

_DSF4595 | 2021-11-10.raf (48.0 MB)

_DSF4595 | 2021-11-10.raf.dop (11.5 KB)

If PL5 doesn’t allow “channel swapping”, I guess it’s back to Photoshop.
It’s not that big a deal - nobody has to go to a lot of effort for me. I suspect it can be done in PL5, but I don’t know how to get past what I’ve already done.

Have a look here for some tips:

It all depends on your camera.

Here is a shot I took back in 2005 on a Nikon D100 camera, which has a very weak IR blocking filter. I put about 8 stops of ND filter and a polariser on the lens and was amazed to find it effectively gave me this infrared image. This is the RAW file simply converted to JPEG with no treatment at all…

I can’t do anything with it in PL until they get around to supplying the D100 module.

Here is a series of versions of a shot I took more recently with the Nikon D810 with a true IR filter on the lens, processed in PL.

Without any filter on the lens…

With the IR filter on the lens

No adjustments…

Just Ilford Delta 100 FilmPack preset…

Just adjusting the WB with the pipette on the car body…

And here is a shot taken without the IR filter and then processed in PL with the Kodak HE™ filtered (High Speed Infrared) FilmPack preset and a bit of Channel Mixer…

Finally, here is your shot, with just the same Kodak IR preset and -2 EV of exposure compensation…

Thinking about what you wrote, I went looking for presets, and found “infrared” under #6 DxO FilmPack Designer - Black & White. Amazingly, it did just what I wanted. It set the Exposure Compensation to -1.10, which I left alone for now, as I liked the water. I used a different image, that showed more of the white building at the right.

I was only doing this for a test, but the left side of the photo looked boring, so I chopped it off. At full size, it isn’t very sharp, nothing like my Nikon, but maybe I had to change the focus because infrared focus is different than regular white light photography focus.

I expected to end up with white trees, but maybe to do that, I have to do the channel swap? It’s an interesting effect anyway - even if it’s not what I had in mind.

I did use a control line to darken much of the sky, and then a negative control point to keep the building white - ought I to have used another control line somehow? I couldn’t think of any way, but I think the control point achieved the result I needed… sort of.

_DSF4594 | 2021-11-10.raf.dop (25.1 KB)

_DSF4594 | 2021-11-10.raf (48.0 MB)

I did a little more testing on this image, and actually did get a slightly better jpg image, but the original is not sharp, so this is a dead-end street.

Tomorrow morning, if it’s clear, I will take the same image with a different setup - not sure which camera I’ll use… most likely my Leica M8.2 without any anti-IR filter built in.

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Absolutely love this

This isn’t the same preset that I used. In fact, if you haven’t installed Mark’s (@mwsilvers) presets for FilmPack, you won’t see the Kodak IR as a preset. until you do, you will have to use the Colour Rendering tool to select it…

Capture d’écran 2021-11-11 à 09.26.26

Well, I don’t know which filter you used but it looks more like either a deep orange or red, not a true infrared filter.

If you look at the untreated shot of my car, using an IR filter, you will see the grass is definitely white-ish.

Using the Kodak IR film emulation you shouldn’t need Control Lines or Points. here’s the DOP with my version added…

_DSF4595 | 2021-11-10.raf.dop (23,4 Ko)

In fact, I took one of your other morning shots (without red filter) and just added the Kodak IR filtered emulation to the colour version and got a much better IR effect where the leaves on the trees are lighter…

Here is a screenshot of the lower right corner…

Although they are now a bit lighter, Helen and I have discussed this and believe two things are stopping the lightness: the leaves are possibly the wrong colour and the light is not directly behind you causing a lot of them to be in their own shade.

I actually have to start creating presets for the new film types in FP 6. I hope to do that in the next few weeks. I had planned on doing it earlier but I got distracted…


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I fully accept that this is my fault, but let me explain. I went to Kolari Vision to select a filter:

Scrolling down, I found the “live” version of this snapshot:

Better to view it on their website, so you can adjust it.

I put the filter on my Fuji X100f, and you saw the result. In the past, I always had to do the work in Photoshop to get an end result I liked.

The label on my filter is: 49mm 590 IR. I guess they could have sent me the wrong filter?? Maybe I need to contact KolariVision and ask.

I must be missing something, or perhaps the Fuji is not an appropriate camera? Long ago I got results I liked while using my Leica M8.2 camera, with what I thought was a very dark red filter from Leica, but it doesn’t say Leica on it… this is from 50 or 60 years ago. I’ll gladly buy another filter, if that’s my problem, but from the KolariVision website, this “should” have worked??

Also, thinking back, In the past, when I took infrared photos, I got a very red tinted image. After processing, I got the desired effect. But using PL5, I don’t know the proper way to process it (which is likely what Mark’s Preset will do for me)??? The red cast over the entire image needs to be removed, along with adjusting the colors.

I decided to try what you just suggested - I assume what Mark did just makes it easier to use. Here’s the result:

Screen Shot 2021-11-11 at 08.41.50

Just as it says, I get a Black and White image. When I try to change that to color film, the choice of Kodak infrared is missing.

It’s probably an issue for the same reason that nothing else is working, but when Helen and you looked at the lower right, you concluded "

How about the island, with all the green leaves - none of that changed colors (I suspect because I’m missing a step in processing…)

Regarding the Preset:

I guess before I do anything else, I need to install Mark’s FilmPack Presets. Can you please point me to the right place to download them from?

I haven’t used or done much of anything with “FilmPack”, and I certainly haven’t installed any additional presets. Can you please tell me where I can find the information on how to install Mark’s (@mwsilvers) presets? I suspect it must be in this forum, and since I wasn’t using Presets very much, I didn’t notice it. Are there other things I should also install? Did Mark write something about doing this that I should read? If so, I don’t know how I would search for it in this forum…

I took some photos this morning with the M8.2 Leica - will be interesting to see how they came out. This what I used to do long ago. The Leica has no anti-IR filter, so it’s almost like buying a camera designed for IR photography. I used the same “infrared” filter that I tried many many years ago, but that’s when I was processing the images in Photoshop with channel swapping…

I did search for the Kodak IR, but as you just explained, I only found what I guess is the “standard” preset. At the time, all of this was very confusing, and I assumed the standard IR Preset would likely work. I’d like to be able to do both B&W and Color, so this was interesting to test anyway.

Oops, I replied to Joanna before I read this. Can you please point me towards the information I need in order to install the things you’ve already done?

Right now, all this is even more confusabobbled than it was a few days ago. (I still suspect I need to do the channel swapping I used to do in Photoshop…)

Here is a link to my presets for FilmPack 5 Elite. I haven’t created presets for the new film types in FilmPack 6 Elite yet. The text refers to the presets that contained an error and which I corrected, but the download contains all 82 presets,


Ah, as my friend Van would say - “thars yer prawblem”

You have bought a 590nm filter, which might look pretty on their website but won’t do diddly-squat if you want a proper infrared filter.

If you can see through the filter, is is not a true infrared because it is letting through visible light.

Mine is a Lee Filters 780nm and you can’t see a thing through it unless you are looking directly at the sun, when you will only see the sun.

The best Kolari are offering is the 720nm, which should be “OK” but still lets in some visible light for when you want to do “false colours”. See this from their webpage…

The Standard IR Filter (720nm) This is the tried and true classic IR filter. It allows some visible light for false color, and good contrast for black and white. This is equivalent to the Hoya R72 and Wratten 89b

Did you take look at my examples of the car on the coast? With the true IR filter, the exposure was 4 minutes @ f/10 ISO 100 and you can see the deep red colour cast. The is easily corrected to either B&W with something as simple as the Ilford Delta 100 colour rendering or, for false colours, by choosing something you want to appear white and using the WB pipette to change the WB.

That’ll be because it is a B&W film :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Ignore what we said earlier. This is definitely down to the wrong cutoff wavelength.

You don’t need a converted camera, PS or channel swapping, just the right filter and PL will do just fine.

Thanks, Mark. I will do that today.

I just had a long discussion with this lovely lady at KolariVision, who eventually figured out what I am doing wrong.

Problem #1 - because of previous discussions with Joanna, all my cameras have white balance set to 5600 K, and that is why my infrared photos look so awful, as I need to compensate for the “filter color”. Quick solution #1 is to aim the camera at a white building, and adjust the color temperature until the building appears white.

Problem #2 - To get the proper infrared effect I want, I must use channel swapping, which is why I posted this thread. @Egregius explained this in another post. Apparently I need another editor, Photoshop, or maybe Affinity Photo.

Lots more to work on…

I don’t now how to put his in a ladylike way - the nearest I can get is “Bovine Excrement!!!” There isn’t a camera in the world that is going to WB a filter like that. See my shots of the car for how to get perfect B&W IR images at 5600°K.

This only applies if you want false colours and, even then, 590nm is way too transparent to visible light to get things like white foliage - you need the 720nm filter if you are going to stand a chance of not swamping the sensor with bright red light.

Then you can see what effects you can achieve in PL before you give up on it.

After a call to Fuji, and then a web search, I found a way to almost get it right:

But moments later I found another page that trying to do this on the Fuji X100f is a waste of time:

I did get an image that was almost useful, but it’s a lost cause. So, I’m back to either using my Leica M8.2 or buying a dedicated camera for infrared (that someone has modified by removing the anti-IR filter built into the camera. The photos I took years ago were done with the M8.2 camera, and I was pleased with the results.

My goal has been to create an image like what is shown below, at the top, second column to the right. The full page is on the KolariVision website:

Sky goes to dark blue, trees become this yellowish color (with channel swapping) in a color image, or white in a B&W image.

Of course, this leaves me wondering how you got such a fascinating result from your 2005 D100 image without channel swapping? Eight stops of neutral density and a polarizer can do this? Wow.

You can try a custom white balance in camera but considering the Leica M8.2 only has a colour temperature range of 2,000°K - 13,100°K, you can instantly tell that there is no way you are going to balance the red filter colour in camera by trying to auto-WB your test image in PL. Here’s the result with the temperature bottomed out at 2000°K and the Tint bottomed out at -200…

You do not have to be limited to the Leica. Most modern cameras are sensitive enough to IR to give you good results. My D810 certainly has no problem and I would strongly suggest, rather than spending good money on either removing an anti-IR filter or buying an IR only camera, that you get hold of a decent 720nm IR filter and try it on your D750.

In fact, using something like the Lee Filters 100mm square filter holder system would allow you to use the same filter on any lens you have on any camera you have, for the price of an adaptor ring per lens size.

But let’s look at the “channel swap”. I put your image through Affinity Photo and did the channel swap dance…

Then I put my true IR shot of the car through the same…

Neither of which I found particularly stunning.

On the other hand, I put my car picture through PL5, using a white balance pipetted from the car and a control line covering the whole picture, but targeting the grass and…

It’s a bit rough and ready, but it looks like you should be able to use a 720-780nm filter on any camera and, with a bit of practice, get something like what you are looking for.

My best guess is that the ND filters aren’t totally neutral and absorbed more green, letting the orange/yellow colour through on the trees and grass.

Well, my Fuji is put away for now, and I wanted to try the M8.2 which lots of people have said works very well for infrared because it lacks the filter that almost any modern camera has, that blocks most infrared light from hitting the sensor.

I took one of my Leica M8.2 images from this morning, did a crash course in photoshop channel swapping, did it, got ugly colors, so I finally exported the image out of photoshop as a ‘tiff’ which PL5 seems to accept even though it came from a Leica M8.2 camera.

I will find the most appropriate preview, most likely the Kodak one you mentioned, but for now I’m moving on for a while, at least until tomorrow, or until I read even better ideas here.

This is the image I ended up with when I saved the ‘tiff’ from Photoshop:
L1031063 | 2021-11-11.tif (29.5 MB)

This is the exported image after working on it in PL5:

…and this is the .dop file as of right now:
L1031063 | 2021-11-11.tif.dop (12.3 KB)

Viewing it at 100% size, it is awful. I obviously had no idea what I was doing in Photoshop. Does that add or detract from the image? I dunno. I wouldn’t know how to replicate this, if I ever wanted to!

Enough of this. Every time I send to Photoshop, it gets better, and Photoshop seems a tiny bit less confusing. So I do the channel swap, then save the image as a TIFF file, which PL5 can work on. If I’m still into this tomorrow, I’ll see if I can make the colors more of what I want them to be.

The M8.2 needs to do something to earn its keep.

And Joanna, I will try to do this with the D750. Maybe I’ve got the right size filter. I know the device you posted about can be very handy, but carrying around one filter in my pocket is a lot easier.

In case anyone else wants to work on it, here’s the file that was exported from Photoshop as a TIFF, and the .dop file for my editing. I want to use Control Line to change the color of the water, and make the sky more interesting, but not tonight… And, when I view it at 100%, I don’t like the water at all, and I see that I ought to use a lower ISO, for less noise. The sun never really came out, far too many clouds, so all of this was just an experiment.

L1031025 _ 2021-11-11.tif (29.5 MB)

L1031025 _ 2021-11-11.tif.dop (13.6 KB)

You do know you can open one of your Leica DNG files in Preview and export it as TIFF, without having to use Photoshop at all?

Agreed! What on earth did you do? :crazy_face: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :roll_eyes: :smiley:

Here’s my simple fix for the water - just using the colour wheel to “offset” the overall colour and a control line to bring out detail in the sky…

And here’s the DOP…

L1031025 _ 2021-11-11.tif.dop (29,8 Ko)

Out of interest, I downloaded a sample Leica M8.2 DNG file…

… converted it to TIFF in Preview and then used PL5 to…

  1. Convert it to Kodak HE™ filtered (High Speed Infrared)…

  2. Convert it to Fuji Neopan™ Acros 100 and add a deep red filter…

Personally, I would ask, for B&W IR work, why bother with on-lens filters? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Sadly, a year ago I used to know that, but I almost completely forgot. My mind was focused on using Photoshop to manipulate the color channels, which used to be so simple long ago, but now it wasn’t. I used to import photos directly into Photoshop, and now they open in a different Adobe program, I think “Camera Raw” that I know nothing about, so I clicked on an OK button at the bottom right, and I’m into a maze of new Photoshop tools. I’ve done this three times now, and each time I get a better result. I feel like a pilot who is used to a simple dashboard on a single-engine plane, sitting down in a cockpit of a 747 - which I’ve done - and am overwhelmed by the complexity. I suppose I ought to re-learn Photoshop, but that’s way down on my “to-do” list. Anyway, thanks for the reminder, but to do the channel work, I need Photoshop, or Affinity Photo - which I also have, and maybe I’ll use that next time instead.

Just tried to do the channel switching, which used to be so simple. I felt like the first day I opened PhotoLab 3, and didn’t know where to begin. Of the three times I tried this so far, each time the end result was better, but it’s still awful in so many ways.

I will download the DOP once I’m more awake, just to see what you did. I need to learn that tool better anyway. What you did is sort of presentable in post-card size, but I know how bad the image is. The only thing that worked correctly is the trees now look the way my filter is supposed to make them look. It wasn’t a good day to begin with, so as for creating a nice photo, the whole project was doomed from the beginning, but I did re-learn a little about Photoshop and layers!

Well, one is “real”, and the other is “simulated”. One can be color or b&w, and the other is b&w. I used to buy Ektachrome Infrared Color Film, put the deep red filter on the front, and I captured beautiful and very strange-looking color slides, with no special processing. That’s what I’m trying to do now, using digital.

Or, I could start all over again, and use my iPhone: (correct link now fixed)
From that page:

Photos like this screen-capture are my goal, and credit for this image goes to this fellow, Dr. Matthew Stuart Piper:
…and this page shows a lot of his work.

That’s my goal, and I’d like to do it with a real camera, and filters, without simulating everything. I’ll read his full article later today, and see how he does it with the iPhone.

(It’s a miserable day outside today, cloudy and rainy, and useless for taking photos unless I want to test whether my camera really is water resistant… That makes it an ideal day to study things you’ve posted here, and learn how to do it myself.)

(It’s also very frustrating to not being able to do things “now” that a year ago were so simple and obvious. It took me almost an hour of searching for the ISO control setting on my Fuji, until I found that it doesn’t exist - it’s a little window on top of the camera, with a real mechanical part I can rotate, like what cameras used to do a lifetime ago. I forgot how to use my M8.2, but it all came back pretty quickly. I’d like it to be more like an automatic transmission car vs one with a stick shift - and while I think I can still drive a stick-shift, it’s been 25 years or more since I last did so. I learn the things you teach us here, and if I don’t continue to actively DO them, they get filed away someplace in my memory, and I have to search for them before they become intuitive again. …or, like my one remaining Windows computer, where it takes me forever to do anything on it, as I’ve mostly forgotten most everything. Oh well, I’m retired, and while I can eventually re-learn things as needed, I’m mystified how I ever found time to go to “work”, and still do my own things… )