Imagine going from this…

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

…to this!

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

It’s really easy. Basically, all you’re going to be doing is adjusting the hue and saturation of the image and a little tweaking to get the desired surreal effect. When you inject various different colors into your photography, you can achieve a pretty dream-like appearance.

Here’s how to achieve the infrared effect:

You’ll need a creative program. Check out Pixlr Editor, it’s free to use and you don’t need to sign up for an account to try it out. All you need is an Internet connection and your browser of choice.

In the Pixlr menu, choose “Open Image From Computer”. Grab the image of your preference.

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

We went with this stunning landscape shot of the Fagarasan Winding Road in the Fagaras Mountains of Romania. Once the image is loaded in Pixlr’s Editor, right click on the background layer in the layers interface and select “Duplicate Layer” from the drop-down menu.

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

Hit “W” or select the Wand tool and choose the area of sky above the greenery. Right-click and select “Invert selection” on the copy of your background layer.

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

Now the area with the grass and winding road will be selected. Right-click anywhere on that and select “Add layer mask” from the menu that appears.

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

Now that you have your layer mask, choose the “Adjustment” category from Pixlr’s toolbar on the top of the editor in your browser. Select “Hue & Saturation” from the drop-down menu.

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

Here’s the fun part! Start adjusting the level of hue, saturation, and lightness to your liking. Make sure to leave the Colorize box unchecked.

Hue: -140  |  Saturation: 15  |  Lightness: -3

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

Once you’re done playing around with the adjustments, right click on the layer copy with the layer mask, and select “Apply layer mask”.

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

Don’t forget to save your image.

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

And voila! You’ve just given your photo a surreal-looking infrared effect! Instead of the usual rolling green valley, what you have right now is a dream-like purple landscape. Looks like it’s straight up from another dimension 😉

Check out these shots of infrared landscape photography on the 123RF library to get a better idea of what you can play around with.