~e; EM photographic research

From bc <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Sun, 3 Mar 2002 22:06:23 -0600

  hello ~e-listers.

  i would like to send an update about a certain realm
  of research i have never known of, prior to a few
  weeks ago, for the purposes of understanding the
  electromagnetic spectrum of light, energy, & info.

  some basic research gear that is now in the toolkit
  includes a quality digital camera. i have amateur skill
  in photography, mostly with my first generation digital
  camera (a olympus dl-300, i think). it was pre-1 mega-
  pixel tech, no external memory, a point and shoot, and
  no settings except red-eye and flash, for the most part.
  in any case, it was a great tool for showing things and
  putting them online, and i thought that was the extent
  of what digital photography could become.

  earlier in life i was able to participate in night photo-
  graphy, learning about long-exposures and streetlights.
  so that was the aim in the camera upgrade, the ability
  to manually, not automatically, take night photos at
  long exposures. so here is what i have learned since,
  beyond experimenting with the camera settings them-
  selves to achieve depth of field and other techniques...

  IR filters:  i saw a book in a photo store about infrared
  photography for film cameras. the picture was unlike
  the black and white photos i was used to seeing in night
  photos and day landscapes. there was some spectral
  quality 'seeable' in the shift in spectrum, towards the
  sub-red region of the rainbow of visible electromagnetic
  light. IR is the type of lightsource that remote controls
  use, and the military uses for communications. and the
  whole night-vision technology must be bases on it too.
  in any case, digital cameras, with a special IR filter,
  can take photos of this end of the EM spectrum. and,
  beyond that, i thought of how interesting it would be
  to see if 'heat soures' like lightbulbs, e-power outlets
  that let off a spark with a looose plug, and even the
  e-power lines might emit some heat in the imagery.
  so this has become a goal, to investigate this, for
  no other reason than to find out what others call
  'the invisible light', and if there is a way to learn
  about electromagnetism through this type of imagery
  in a way that would otherwise be more difficult. and
  to do this digitally, ultimately, putting it online as
  research, in both IR and EM, through aesthetic analysis.
  what is great about digital, besides that film is not a
  factor, is that there can be a lot of trial and error to
  experiment with getting settnigs, and that with regular
  IR film photography, a special infrared film is needed.
  but now it is more mainstream. the camera in the tool-
  kit is not ideal for IR, the previous model though is one
  of the best, but it is still worth a shot or a few thousand.

  UV filters: like IR, but at the other end of the infrared
  side of the EM spectrum is the ultraviolet, more with
  the radiowave side of things. there is also a UV-pass-
  through filter that allows a camera to 'see' this range
  beyond the visible in the spectrum of light, which can
  be captured by digital camera. this is something that
  will take longer to explore, but is similar to IR in many
  ways, except the effect. with IR, it is most usually a
  black and white image that is the result (unless one is
  to do a false-color IR photo, which has a strange cast
  of magenta or some other hue in the imagery). with
  UV, it is like day-glo photography. and it is what the
  bugs see, the birds, all those patterns on flowers and
  on rocks that are not seen in normal human life. i know
  i have written about this before, but UV is about phosphers
  and fluorescence, or so i hope is correct in memory, and
  once being in a geologists store and seeing their special
  UV rock exhbit in the backroom, where a series of plain
  and very uninspiring rocks where setup, lights were then
  turned off, and blacklight turned on, and they all glowed
  in pink, light green, and yellow, like day-glo rocks, all
  specked and chunks of color only seen in the UV spectrum.
  well, the camera can do this, with a filter, and i am not
  sure what might be learned in terms of energy, information,
  or electromagnetism, in this regard, but it is fascinating
  nonetheless, and ripe for experimentation to find out...

  Special Effects filters: then, there are what might be called
  'cheesy' special filters which screw onto the threads on the
  front of a camera's lens. some have star patterns, some have
  rainbow patterns, not like a literal rainbow, but a slash of the
  rainbow spectrum, i forget the order of colors. but with such
  a filter, all light sources, whether a candle flame, electric
  incandescent light, or the sun, would all demonstrate their
  spectral qualities, their simaliries, as would a computer
  screen, a tv, anything with visible light. which could show
  how these things are interrelated. so too, with night photos
  of streetlights, there are 'star-filters' which are quite cliche,
  with names like 'hollywood', used for photographing chrome
  on cars where it twinkles in an 8-point burst of light. well,
  with such an 'ugly and ordinary' photo filter (from architect
  Rober Venturi's thesis on aesthetic value), the value of the
  lights at night, and their commonlity might be exposed in a
  way otherwise difficult. so these are a few, well, most of
  the research possibilities under consideration, and bit by
  bit, hopefully some of them will be explored. it seems a
  very intriguing approach, and it would be appreciated if
  anyone has experience or interest in this, to please let
  me know, as this work is quite unique in what it can show.
  yet it is still experimental in the digital work that is online.

  here are a few links in case anyone is interested:::::::::

Infrared Photography FAQ - New Edition (V2.4.5)
by Clive Warren - Wednesday, January 9, 2002

Andrew Davidhazy
Imaging and Photographic Technology Department
School of Photographic Arts and Sciences
Rochester Institute of Technology
(this material was prepared for Focal Encyclopedia of Photography)

to see infrared photos, probably best to do a search
on google, or try looking at a photographic gallery, such as:



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