Near Infrared World

A couple of days I carried my camera that has been modified to allow near infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths to reach the sensor and used a filter that lets only infrared wavelengths in. With possibly a few isolated exceptions, animals don’t see near infrared wavelengths … longer than red (>~700 nanometers). Some things reflect IR, and some absorb. Green leaves reflect almost all IR and are white. The black of bumblebees absorb almost all IR and thus black. Looking at the world in IR is mostly just interesting as it isn’t directly significant to how humans or other animals see the world.

A bumblebee on a pink flower. The bumblebee looks pretty much as it would in a black and white version of a visible light photograph. The flowers would have more shades of gray.
Path in the prairie in IR.
The prairie in the visible spectrum converted to black and white. The prairie plants are gray … not white as shown previously.
A yellow swallow tail on a cone flower.
A yellow swallow tail among cone flowers.
Bumblebee on a cone flower.
A tiny black beetle on a yellow flower. In some cases, such as this, I used a flash. The flash does produce some IR but also produces other artifacts as shown on the petals.
A red ladybug on a green leaf.
A Japanese Beetle on a green leaf. In this case the infrared view makes the beetle look somewhat different than in visible. For example, its eye(s) is more apparent in this photograph than in visible wavelength photographs I’ve taken.

Taking photographs showing only infrared wavelengths doesn’t (at least from anything I’ve done) show dramatic new insights into the topics viewed. It’s just interesting and does in some cases make some difference in what can be observed (as with the Japanese Beetle).

Shifting to another topic that is interesting in black and white, specifically, old machinery; the following are of an old tractor and manure spreader in a field near a plant nursery. These were taken with visible wavelengths.

The International Harvester 340 tractor was produced from 1958 to 1962. There were 11838 manufactured. Their sale price was about $3810 in 1962. How long this one has been sitting in this same spot is unknown. The tires look to be in good shape.
An engine of another time … very simple.
A manure spreader. It’s age (and make) are not apparent. The wooden box would indicate that is really pretty old as the one we had when I helped my father clean barns and spread manure (no fun) had a metal box. Given the material put in it wood might have been a better idea.

Published by nature4507

I am a retired electrical engineer with many years of working on environmental controls for large buildings. I now spend many hours walking through beautiful parkland and taking photographs of the interesting and wondrous things I see.

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