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Archive 2012 · Haze - Polarizer and Infrared
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Haze - Polarizer and Infrared

This is a technique post, not a particularly pretty picture.

For Christmas I converted a camera body to infrared (720nm filter). I came across a hazy mid-day scene recently which was great for demonstrating how well infrared cuts through haze (more accurately how much less infrared light scatters from haze than visible light). For comparison I also shot with a polarizer, in this case the sun was at nearly a 90 degree angle to the shot so this is about as much as a polarizer will ever be able to do.

All three are crops of a larger shot, processed identically at standard settings in LR with the only alteration being spot WB for the IR shot to keep it mostly neutral. Notice the differences in detail and contrast in the distant mountains.

Standard Body

Standard Body w/polarizer

IR Converted Body

Finally, just for kicks, here is the full frame shot with some quick post-processing applied (contrast, clarity, curves and a gradient adjustment for the sky and background):


So, if you don't mind B&W and you do shoot distant vistas you might consider IR as part of your arsenal.

Happy new year!


Jan 01, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Rick Schump
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Haze - Polarizer and Infrared

Ken, Nice examples. IR also opens up shooting in harsh mid day light when most of us act like vampires. Rick

Jan 01, 2012 at 07:01 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Haze - Polarizer and Infrared

Hey Ken,

That last shot is really nice! That's cool showing the differences between polarizing and the IR. Thanks for sharing that.

Happy New Year!


Jan 01, 2012 at 07:12 PM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Haze - Polarizer and Infrared

Quick update, someone on DPR asked about blending the IR and color versions. The clouds moved a fair bit between the two shots, but here is a luminance blend of the IR version over the polarizer version:


No other post processing besides the blend, perhaps with some color work (probably in LAB) an interesting color/IR hybrid that didn't look too wacky could be made (presuming you shot intending to do this and didn't let the clouds move while you goofed off with other things in between the shots like I did ).


Jan 04, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Tim ONeill
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Haze - Polarizer and Infrared

If you are looking at false color in your IR, it is often better to do your RAW conversion from DPP and adjusting the WB eyedropper there, rather than in ACR. Life Pixel is pretty emphatic about using it. For monochrome not necessary. IR does cut through haze very well. Nice conversion.

Jan 04, 2012 at 08:36 PM

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