Infrared Panorama: Pt I

ISO 200 | f/8.0 | 1/640th | 6 exposures | GR II 590 nm

Here is one technique I had never explored in infrared and probably should have. The post processing of IR with my personal workflow is quite laborious to begin with, so adding several additional steps was not a good motivator for me. Way back when I used a Mac I had Skylum’s Luminar and Aurora, which were excellent for pano stitching, but in my current Windows workflow I solely rely on DxO PhotoLab as my main DAM, then Nik Collection apps for IR or B&W conversions, and finally Affinity Photo for channel swapping, or more intricate editing (healing of artifacts). Up until now I had no idea that Affinity Photo had a very powerful panorama stitching tool built-in. So, as usual, that got me thinking…

In my immediate area we have no large vistas or picturesque hills, let alone mountains, so finding a spot worthy of a pano is not always easy. Most of my shots will resort to some kind of body of water, because that’s what is readily available and provides enough distance and visual interest for a wide angle field of view.

My routine workflow is a tonal adjustment in PhotoLab, then export into Nik ColorEfex Pro to add dynamic contrast and the most important ingredient of IR: glow and soft focus. From here I have two choices. If I previously did a channel swap on the image in Affinity, I am done, but if I did not do any color modifications, I will continue towards B&W conversion in Nik SilverEfex Pro to create my final image, add the all important film grain and selective channel luminance. I keep telling myself to write a whole post dedicated to my workflow and how I process IR images… and I keep blissfully forgetting about it. One of those days, I guess…..?

I will spend next several weeks tweaking my settings and creating presets to automate this as much as possible, but while having a detailed look at the results, I am hopeful that this is not just a vain try. For a first attempt, the pictures have turned out alright. Better than alright and surely better than I had hoped for…

Categories: Infrared, LandscapesTags: , , , , , , , ,

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