A couple of weeks ago I created a showcase post of breathtaking infrared photography with surreal colours. Those featured examples were authentic infrared photos that were shot on infrared film, or digitally with an infrared lens, but I’ve been playing around in Adobe Photoshop to find a way to replicate the effect with a standard image. In today’s tutorial I’ll show you how to reverse the colours of a landscape scene to switch the greens to vibrant pinks to mimic the popular false-color infrared style.

How To Create an Infrared Photo Effect in Adobe Photoshop

As we saw in my showcase of infrared photography, images look pretty surreal when the colour are mixed up, especially in pictures with lots of trees and foliage. In this tutorial we’re going to replicate the effect using a standard photograph, but with some Photoshop adjustments to reverse the channels.

Open up your standard photograph in Adobe Photoshop. I’m using this landscape image, which has a nice mix of greens, but also contrasting hues in the sky, river and rocks. Begin by duplicating the layer with the CMD+J shortcut.

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  1. Hi there! thanks for making this tutorial . I had been looking for advice on how to create this effect. Some of my favorite musicians in the 60s such as Donovan and Jimi Hendrix did photoshoots with this kind of effect.

  2. I noticed that on some of the infrared photos, what would be green also could be white or yellow besides pinkish colors. What caused the variation of colors? Also to make the mock effect in these other colors, what channels would you need to adjust? Also, how are the blues intact, but the other colors change in the actual infrared? Thank you! You do a great job in providing us with various tutorials!

  3. You know I’ve been looking for tutorials like this for a while, just so I can finally understand how to edit the photos I take of all the spoons I steal from my elementary school cafeteria. They usually last about 1 good “pudding time”. Thanks for the tut and I will upload pics of this special time later.

  4. I love this! The timing couldn’t be more perfect. I have been trying to come up with a photo effect for a special project…yahoo! Thanks.

  5. This is really cool! I was wondering how it could be done.
    Thank you!
    Been without internet since Monday due to Irma! LOL


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