Monday, December 02, 2013

Seeing the world through a different lens...

Seeing the world through a different lens is a well sought-after experience. In my experience, it mostly occurs out of nowhere when you're not even looking for it. Trying to force it, though, may mean crossing some lines and probably spending a lot of money. Luckily, I only had to deal with the latter.
Hot Tea
"Seeing" the Infrared Spectrum
A long while ago, I got interested in something called infrared thermography and cameras. This is actually an entire science with numerous professional applications and ongoing research. To put it shortly, it involves "seeing" the infrared wavelength, which is the range just above the visible light spectrum that people see.

A very crude explanation of infrared is that it is heat energy, and objects emit varying amounts of infrared radiation based on their temperature -- very dumbed down and not completely correct. Our eyes can't see it, but cameras have been developed to detect it and to, in a way, "convert" it into visible light. Again, human eyes can't actually see (keyword is "see", it's still there) infrared light, so whatever images that are produced by the camera are just interpretations.

If you've seen it anywhere, it's probably as "FLIR images" or "FLIR footage" from police helicopters, military applications, and the Predator movies.

These cameras are not available at every corner store -- rare. They are specialized and professional pieces of equipment -- expensive! However, it's 2013 and their price has started to come down. I splurged and got a base long-wave infrared model. Specifically, it's a FLIR Exx-Series bx model.

Over the next while, I hope to explore my interest and share some of the photos and videos I take using an infrared camera.

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