How To Make a Color Infrared Photo


This is the coolest little editing trick I’ve seen in a while. This YouTube video by PhotoshopMama shows you how to create the look of color infrared film with your color photos. The best part… it only takes three clicks in Photoshop. Here’s the video:

In case you can’t see the video for some reason, here’s the process.

  1. Create an “Invert” adjustment layer to invert your photo.
  2. Create another “Invert” adjustment layer to un-invert your photo.
  3. Change the layer blend of the top adjustment layer to “Luminosity”.

That’s it, you’re done. I just took some already finished photos and ran them through the conversion. Here are my results:





Doesn’t anybody else think this is cool? Or is this old news and I was just left out of the loop? Either way, it kept me occupied for about an hour.

This entry was posted in Photoshop Tips on by .

About Brian Auer

a photography enthusiast from North Idaho. He's also the guy behind the Epic Edits Weblog. As a hobbyist photographer since 2003, his passion has been to constantly improve his photography skill set, to share his own knowledge with others, and to become an integral part of the photographic community.

14 thoughts on “How To Make a Color Infrared Photo

  1. bestgramps

    no fast internet in North Idaho it would take 4 days to down load so I will take your word for it.

  2. Brian Auer Post author

    That’s why I explained it with text too. Then again, you still refuse to use Photoshop. Better get on board, you can’t have me do all your editing forever.

  3. bestgramps

    I guess I should have waited for the pictures to down load. Seems you posted another “Dad photo” the Washington Monument pict looks familer. Did I tell you to take that one or not.

  4. Gabriel Marigo

    I’ts just easier and quicker to make just one invert adjustment layer and then set its blending mode to “color”. It’s the very same thing you are doing there with both adjustment layers.

  5. Dino Delellis

    I love this tutorial Brian.

    Using layers is a great way to add these kinds of features.

    The picture of the Biker in the air looks particularly cool.

    Brian if you shot that one yourself, what was the setting on your camera?

  6. alan

    What u did is a good effect. but there are some corrections to be done.For example one dont need to create 2 adjustment invert layer. If you change the original picture to invert then the color mode to luminosity, you would get an interesting infra red effect!!
    After i did your effect I adjusted the curves and it looked like a real beautiful infra red picture!!!
    So thanx for publishing your trick!!!

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