I’ve recently been adopting Skylum Software’s Luminar as a Photoshop plug-in to replace my aging Nik Collection. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Nik, but it’s outdated and I’m not sure where it’s going to end up (yes, I realize it’s been purchased by DXO). With a little practice, I’ve gotten to the point where Luminar is effectively replacing Silver Efex Pro 2 for monochrome conversion work.
With Luminar I’m able to replicate most of my go-to Nik filters, all in a single plug-in application. Luminar also supports Smart Filters, so you can create non-destructive edits if you use Smart Object layers in Photoshop. Instead of having to run multiple plug-ins (usually Silver Efex and Color Efex), I can do everything in a single interface
This image is a digital infrared capture (590nm) that I processed to emulate deep black (830nm) infrared using Luminar.
Here’s an image that combines several creative techniques that you can use to make your photos more interesting. The original capture was made with an infrared converted Fujifilm X-T1 camera. I then converted the resulting image to monochrome and used a custom texture overlay to add the painterly effect.
A while back, my friends at Singh-Ray filters asked me if I’d be willing to test a new infrared filter. Late last week, I got a sample copy of the new Singh-Ray I-Ray 700nm filter to test and review. Here are my findings.
Why should you choose an infrared filter?
First, let me start by asking why one would want to use an infrared filter instead of converting a digital camera to infrared. There are several reasons why you might want an infrared filter:
You don’t have an extra camera lying around to convert to IR
You don’t want to spend $275-$400 to convert a camera
Filters are easy to pack when traveling, and work with all your cameras
You have a full-spectrum or dual-spectrum camera which requires filters
I captured this photograph at a local produce stand using my 590nm infrared converted Fujifilm X-E1 camera and 23mm Fuji lens. I added two Flypaper Textures for the final effect in Photoshop after processing the master file in Lightroom CC.
I captured this image using a Fujifilm X-E1 mirrorless camera that was converted to capture infrared (590nm conversion from Life Pixel Infrared). I liked the combination of textures in the rocks and the deep black sky. I decided to leave the blue tint in the vegetation instead of completely converting the image to monochrome. Had I done that, the vegetation would have disappeared.