Here you are my first Lightroom preset for simulating black and white infrared photography. Basically, it converts a coloured picture in Gray tones, with vivid brightness for tints coming from reds, yellows and greens, while tones coming from blues are strongly darkened. It pushes grain, contrast and shadows.
This is the shot from which I started the development of the preset: I wanted to make the tree bright against the black of the sky. I worked on the tone curve, Grey scale and Detail. I also tweeked the Camera Calibration for a more interesting and appreciable infrared look: you might enjoy playing with the tint slider under Shadows for quick variations.
In order to see if the preset could have worked even for other pictures, I tried with a portrait. I like the look of the skin: the conversion has lightened and softened its tones. The darkening in the shadows is deep (shadows: -52) and the consequent rise in contrast is strong, but not as much as in the preset “Creative – B&W High Contrast” (it’s one of those given with Lightroom by default).
In this still-life the highlights had an azure dominant: they got converted into black. I don’t dislike this “collateral effect”: it gives a kind of an allusion to a negative film. Here the grain it’s clearly visible: I pushed on purpose detail to +53. In this case the result seems good, but if you try to apply the preset on a picture with nasty noise (like one taken at 1600 ISO) it might be better to reduce detail.
Here another example suitable for applying my black and white infrared 01 preset. The landscape has yellow, orange and green, the sky is cloudy and blue. The conversion rise the contrast between the land and the sky, giving some drama. Ok I confess, here I added also a bit of extra vignette (amount: -30, midpoint: 38), which is not included in the preset.
Download the preset for Lightroom
Download the preset Black & white infrared 01: GA-B&W-infrared-01.zip
How to install the preset in Lightroom: open Lightroom’s preferences, go to Presets (it’s the second tab) and click on “Show Lightroom presets folder“. Open the folder “Lightroom“, open the sub-folder “Develop Presets“: copy here the file extracted from the zip file downloadable in this page. Restart Lightroom and your presets’ list will be updated. Note: it has been tested in Lightroom 1.4 and Lightroom 2.0