My Infrared Tree Series

Published on: 10th Aug 2016
In Tutorials

While working through my infrared photos the past couple of days I came across my series of infrared trees taken in December 2015 in the Golden Gate, Freestate region.

When I saw them it reminded me that I read a few nights earlier on the PSSA website that entries for this year's Ensemble print exhibition is currently open. Last year I was lucky enough to represent our club at Ensemble 2015 with two series, one called "Geese Herding" which consisted of four photos of my long exposure geese photos (see this gallery for examples of these geese photos), and another four photos called "Transportation" which consisted of photos taken of double-decker busses in Hong Kong.

I hope to exhibit again at this year's Ensemble - this time with these four infrared trees. I processed these trees exactly the same as I thought that no one of these trees on its own is strong enough to be a winner while a series with a similar look could have great impact.

I want to explain to you how I manages to process them all the same, is it is fundamental to my post processing technique.

The first step is to "equalise" the exposure in the RAW converter. I will normally process one photo and then use the batch facility to copy the settings to the other photos. In this particular case, one of the photos was photographed with the sun from the front while the other three were taken with the sun from behind me. I therefore had to carefully process this one photo to make sure he has a similar tonality as the other three.

The second step is the process one of the photos in Photoshop. Here I make only use of layers (duplicating layers, using adjustment layers and adding blending modes to layers) in order to easily reproduce the same settings in the other photos.

Once I am happy with the result I will save it without flatten the layers (I am actually notorious for keeping all layers forever - yes I know I am wasting a lot of disk space!).

I will then open one of the other photos, select all the layers (except for the original bottom layer) in the original photo and drag it onto the newly opened photo[647]. Select all the adjustement layers and drag it onto the newly created photo. [647]This will add all the adjustments to the newly opened photo. Recreate the masks on all the layers as they will not be aligned for the newly opened photo [648]The only problem is that the masks on the original photo will not fit the new photo[648], so I will need to remove all masks and manually re-create the masks as needed for the new photo.

Once finished with this photo, I will repeat these steps with each of the photos in the series.

This is all there is to my semi-automated workflow. Although it still involves a lot of manual work, it ensures that the photos will have the same colour and tonality and will therefore hang together as a series.


(If you have read up to here and did not click on a photo yet, do so to see them in larger format and also to browse through the rest of this gallery)