Infrared Color Swap with new Lightroom Local Hue Adjustment
The June 2020 release of Adobe Lightroom Classic includes a new feature called the Local Hue Adjustment. This adds the ability to change the hue by a full 180 degrees within a Graduated Filter, Radial Filter, or Adjustment Brush. Previous hue changes were limited to the HSL panel and limited the amount of change.
Using Local Hue Adjustment, you can swap the colors on infrared images using ONLY Lightroom, without making a roundtrip to Photoshop or creating an additional PSD or TIFF files. Additionally, you can set your white balance AFTER you swap colors, which allows you to see the result immediately.
This video walks you through this process. You can also follow the guide below.
Select Custom Profile
Download: The free Infrared Profile Pack contains color temperature shifting profiles for hundreds of cameras. These profiles allow you to set a good white balance in Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop Camera Raw, and other raw editors. Alternatively, you can create your own DNG Camera Profile for your camera.
- Open Lightroom.
- Select an infrared image.
- Go to the Develop module by clicking Develop in the upper-right corner or hitting the
- Select the Infrared custom profile for your camera.
Local Hue Adjustment
Using the new Local Hue Adjustment feature, you can swap colors right in Lightroom, without a roundtrip to Photoshop.
- Drawing the graduated filter is easier if you have some space around your image. In the Navigator panel on the left, select 1:3, 1:4 or whatever ratio allows you to have some free space around your image.
- Select the Graduated Filter, or hit the
- Click in the space outside of your image.
- Hold the
shiftkey to keep the graduated filter straight and drag way from the image. This ensures that the entire image is equally affected. It doesn’t matter on which side of the image you place the graduated filter, as long as you drag away from the image.
- Drag the Hue slider to 180 or -180.
- For finer control of the Hue slider, you can check the Use Fine Adjustment option or hold down the
altkey while dragging the slider.
Set White Balance
One of the benefits of this method is that you can set the white balance after swapping the colors, allowing you to see the impact of white balance changes immediately. If you want some tips for setting a good white balance, then watch Secret to White Balance in Infrared Photography.
If you make adjustments in the HSL panel, note that the colors will be reversed. Using the color picker may make it easier to know which colors you are adjusting.
Create a Preset
You can quickly apply these settings to other infrared images with a preset. You can apply this preset to many infrared images when importing them into Lightroom.
- In the Preset panel on the left, select the + menu, the select Create Preset.
- For Preset Name, enter your preferred name, such as
Infrared color swap with Local Hue.
- Click the Check None button in the lower-left corner.
- Click Treatment & Profile checkbox.
- Click Graduated Filter checkbox.
- Click Create button.
- Your preset will appear in the Presets panel on the left. If you can’t find it, look in the User Presets section at the bottom.
If you have comments, questions or feedback, use the comment section for this video.