Processing InfraRed RAW Files

I have been shooting using InfraRed Film since 1997 and converted to Digital InfraRed in 2009 using a Nikon D100 Camera converted to IR by LifePixel. You can see the filters on offer here

Florida 2010

I am a Linux Geek, I hate Windows, and cannot afford Adobe Products, I prefer to stick to Linux if I can. It works for me.

Recently I have been using Darktable to manage and manipulate the images, and have noticed that the NEF images imported into Darktable are 'Blown Out'. The beauty of Darktabel is that it does not alter the images at all, it uses a small xml text file to keep track of any modifications to the images. Magick!

During a tutorial with Dan Wampler from LifePixel he emphasised the importance of importing each image into the Nikon Capture NX-D software and export as a TIFF before importing into Darktable. I was somewhat skeptical of the benefit of this. Particularly because I cannot get the Nikon Softrware to run in Linux under Wine. I have installed Windows 7 64bit in VirtualBox and then installed the Nikon Capture NX-D Software. This works well in batch mode so it easy to convert a folder of NEF Files to TIFF for editing later.

Here are the results which show very clearly that Dan is correct. Here is my workflow.

  • Set White Balance in the camera. I have found the best resdult I can get is to use the gray rock here at home in bright sunlight setting the PRE WB in the camera.
  • Use RAW Format for images which are NEF images in my Nikon D100 Camera
  • Take pictures
  • Save the images onto computer
  • Run the Nikon Capture NX-D software as a Batch on the images to convert to TIFF
  • Edit in Darktable and or Gimp. (more on this later)
  • View or Print.......