Taming IR Hotspots

Since moving to an all ACR/Lr workflow for processing my infrared images, I’ve learned that the radial filter tool can be immensely helpful in taming, if not removing entirely, hotspots which impact the color, saturation exposure or contrast of an image shot with a lens with less than ideal coatings and characteristics.

I start with a selection positioned at the dead center of the image, with a 50% feather. I then started out by using the Dehaze tool in combination with subtle white balance adjustments. It wasn’t long though before I discovered that the Dehaze tool was not the end-all, be-all solution. The white balance was almost always a necessity, but sometimes the luminosity issues needed the exposure, contrast shadow, and highlight tools. Sometimes Dehaze produced great results in conjunction with the Vibrance and Saturation sliders. Color and luminosity range masks also helped.

Sometimes the selection circle and it’s feathering needs to be adjusted. I try to avoid using two radial filters because of the complex variables it creates. But there have been times when it’s done the trick.

But through this all, it’s just reinforced my belief that with the right processing, any lens can be used successfully for infrared photography and finding the way is just a matter of time and perseverance. And this is good news for mirrorless shooters, whose lenses have been said to be poor performers for infrared photography.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Dreux Sawyer

Dreux Sawyer

Thoughts on user experience, product design, photography, cameras and life in general