Login or Join Now

Upload your photos, chat, win prizes and much more

Remember Me

Can't Access your Account?

New to ePHOTOzine? Join ePHOTOzine for free!

How to convert an infrared photograph to black & white using Gimp

Join Now

Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!

55% OFF new PortraitPro 12 - use code EPHZROS414.
Category: Gimp

How to convert an infrared photograph to black & white using Gimp - When you take infrared photographs with a digital camera in the normal colour shooting mode they are processed with a red colour cast. Here's how you remove the cast using Gimp.

Print Article Add Comment Add CommentJargon Buster: Off Jargon Buster: Off

infrared to mono conversion using GimpInfrared photography is a very effective way to create an eerie, ghostly image. However, how do you get from your original version of the picture to that ghostly greyscale that is so characteristic of infrared photography? There are a few ways to achieve this, but here Michael Bates is going to detail the method, using Gimp, that gives you the greatest control over the process and subsequently over your end result.

infrared to mono conversion using GimpStep 1 Open your infrared image and Duplicate the ‘Background’ layer. This is just a precautionary measure to make sure you can undo any changes and restart from the base image if you desire. Double-click the name of the new layer to rename it, change its name to something useful, here ‘BW’ will suffice to remind us that this is the layer we are going to make black and white.

infrared to mono conversion using GimpStep 2 In the ‘BW’ layer open the Colours menu along the top of the image window, then move your mouse down to Components and select the Channel Mixer, which will open a new window. The first thing we want to do in here is to select the ‘Monochrome’ option, then we will balance the sliders to get an exposure we like. We want something with blacks and whites present, but try not to blow-out the highlights.

infrared to mono conversion using GimpStep 3 Although the picture is greyscale now it will most likely be lacking contrast and definition, so to try to reverse this open the Filter>Enhance>Unsharp Mask window from the Image window. This tool selectively sharpens the image based on the differences in colour that are present; where there is a clear difference in colour this tool will sharpen the distinction.

You will be presented with a series of options, once again play around until you get the effect you like; the Radius option affects the size of the area sharpened, the Amount will control just how sharp any areas the tool sharpens will be made, and the Threshold determines how large the difference between colours has to be for the definition to be sharpened.

infrared to mono conversion using GimpStep 4  The final tweak the image needs to really make your picture stand out is with the Colours>Brightness-Contrast tool. So open this, and increase/decrease the contrast until you have both blacks and whites present in the image; you may have to alter the brightness after changing the contrast to counteract any murkiness or overexposure.

Explore More

GIMP 2.8 New Features And Updates

GIMP 2.8 New Features And Updates

Kat Landreth shows us what's new in GIMP 2.8 and shows us th...

How To Use Layers And Layer Modes

Using Layers And Layer Modes In GIMP

Michael Bates shows us how Layers can be used in GIMP.

How To Add Watermarks To Images

Watermarking Your Images In GIMP

Lean how to add watermarks to images in GIMP.

Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.


There are no comments here! Be the first!
- Original Poster Comments
- Your Posts

Add a Comment

You must be a member to leave a comment

Remember me:
Un-tick this box if you want to login each time you visit.