I’ve recently started taking infrared (IR) photos with a full time IR camera (a Canon EOS 300D.) This is all well and good until you come to editing them in your favorite RAW editor, Adobe Lightroom. Because Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) had a limit of 2000K for their RAW file’s white balance, you had to convert your image to another format (I used the TIFF format with dcraw) and then edit them. This is a hassle, because it adds another step into the workflow, and because TIFF files are 16-bit, they are huge (32MB compared to 12MB for CR2’s).
Now that Adobe have released Lightroom 2.0 with ACR 4.5 you can create a custom profile for each camera and have the white balance settings preserved! Here’s how:
Now grab an IR RAW file and put it in it’s own folder on your desktop. Open the DNG converter and select the folder you put it in (I put mine on my desktop)
Click convert, and you should have a fresh new DNG file in your folder.
Now fire up the DNG profile editor. Load the DNG that you just created and go to the Colour Matrices tab.
Slide the White Balance Temperature and Tint sliders as shown in the image above.
Then from the File menu choose Export DNG Camera Profile and save it in the default location.
We’re finished with the profile editor, so it can be closed. Open Lightroom and in the Library tab, choose Filter: Metadata. Select the IR camera that corresponds to the DNG we created earlier.
Now in the Develop tab, go to the Camera Calibration section, select the Profile we just created.
Now the image should look as it did on your camera when you took it, and the As shot white balance will be honoured. But we want this to be the default for all our current and existing images!
In Lightroom, choose Edit, Preferences and go to the Presets tab. Tick the box that says Make defaults to camera serial number and click OK.
Now we can set the default profile for a camera. Select the image we just chose the profile for. Whilst holding the alt key, click the Set default button we just enabled.
Press Update to Current Settings on the confirmation box (assuming you are using a full time IR camera)
This will now make this profile default on all of the new images that are imported to lightroom!
If you want to make all of the existing images in Lightroom have this profile, select all of the images from the IR camera (assuming you have the metadata filter on, you can just press Ctrl+A)
Now click the image you’ve set the profile to (don’t worry, this won’t deselect the others) and from the menu choose Develop Settings > Sync Settings.
In this dialogue, click the Check None button and then select the Calibration box.
When you click the Synchronise button, all of the images will be given the camera profile.
When I found this out (via the Infrared Photography Community Forums) I was very happy to be able to keep the same workflow as my visible light images!
Big thanks to Peter Cox for discovering this