David Krooshof

Sunlit Infrared

A silhouette of a goat underneath a big tree. The leaves of the tree are unusually bright, but not as bright as the overcast sky that can be seen behind the tree a bit. There is something romantic about the image.

A silhouette of a goat. The tree looks bright in the infrared spectrum.

Through previous projects, I started to like infrared photography. It gives a different image of plants. Note this is not a heat camera like a FLIR. It picks up light that is so deeply red, mammals can't see it. Plants happen to refect this color a lot. They appear bright. A clear sky remains dark even on a sunny day. This gives strange image.

I had removed the IR blocking filter from my dad's old little Canon pocket camera. I wanted to improve it, but then I broke it. Shortly after I was given a bag full of old camera's, that had a similar camera. This one survived the removal of that filter. Adding a filter that blocks visible light, makes it a IR-only camera. Great fun!

  • When I wrote that I took the camera to bits down to the last screw, I meant it. Here is a box with the red camera and the green circuit boards in it, and many other parts. All separated.
  • A bag in a bag, with a block of little black glass in a bag. That will cover the sensor to only pass IR.
  • Putting the camera back together again. So many tiny connectors! It is really fiddly.
  • My hand holding the part that has the lensmount and the sensor in it. The black shiny bit is the converted sensor.

Upgrading the GF2 camera to IR, while slightly ruining it.

I decided I needed a better IR camera. After thinking about it for a long time, I decided to move my digital colour work up to a Sony A7, and sacrifice the GF2 for IR.

I bought that camera in 2011 and a decade later I took it to bits, down to the last screw. That's how deep these filters are embedded in the camera. On the sensor is a color correcting green piece of glass that blocks IR. This is essential for good RGB colors. There is also a transparent looking "hot mirror" that block more IR and UV. I removed them both.

A huge rusty railroad bridge with some freight train wagons on top, dwarfs the Miss Worcester Diner. Worcester, MA, USA. The infrared aspect highlights the vegetation on the bridge, that should tell you something about the deplorable state that that big structure was in. Some clouds emphasise the shape and height of the wagons.

A huge Worcester Railroad bridge dwarfs the Miss Worcester Diner. Massachusetts, 2022.
I chose IR for this image to highlight the vegitation growing on that bridge. For the composition, I waited for a black car to darken that corner of the frame.

Through Aliexpress, I orderd a bit of black glass that blocks visible light but not IR, of the correct size and shape as the green looking filter. The I put the camera back together.

Two things have been broken in the process: there is no contact with the lens anymore, so no autofocus, no manual focus by wire. And the flash always fires, even if it is closed. This drains the battery faster, but the battery still lasts me the whole day.

  • 4 people on bikes arriving at NDSM, two others waiting to get on that ferry to go to Amsterdam Centraal. Especially a lady on the left with a bright long coat and dito shoes, stands out against the gray scales. A bloke on the right with a bright coat balances the image. Clouds are mirrored against a modern building with lot's of coated glass that should keep heat out and in, but let light through. That coating seems to work quite well. There is improvised signage where to get your corona vaccination.

In IR, people look a bit weird

I put the filter inside of the camera for two reasons: It keeps the sensor straight and any lens that is mounted is a IR lens, so no need to buy a dozen filters with different diameters. This photo of the moon and a crow was shot with a 400mm lens on 2x tele-convertor. Hence the fuzzy image and the big moon.

Fuzzy image of a big moon, a pine three in a rough shape, and a crow flying near it.

That crow really was a bonus. It completes the image. It was a supermoon that day, but the size in the image is due to the focal length used.

  • A close up of a dune. Most of the image is of the ripples the wind made in the sand. At the top is stiff, high grass. There is darkness in the sky, eventhough the shades suggest hard sunlight.
  • The curvature of a dune is illustrated by the bent shadows the straight grass threw over the sand.
  • A deep worn out path runs like a snake through the trees. It shows up black. The grasses are bright. The trees are close to each other and have high stems. They throw shadows like horizontal stripes over the grass. This shows soil is on an angle here.
  • Some flowers of grasses agains a dark sky. Low in the image, there is the out of focus skyline of a forest. Just above it, a white cloud in a dark sky.
  • Looking down on plants and grasses on soil. Live plants show up brightly, the soil stayed dark. It effect is otherworldly.
  • A photo of grasses in front of a out of focus dark background. Infrared make them glow brightly. There is a curved band of out of focus grasses glowing behind the in focus ones in the foreground. The grass makes some little hexagon shapes because it makes a 60 degree turns on each joint. That was the reason I took this photo.
  • Leaves are projected onto a leaf.
  • My black and tan dog Baloo looks snow white in infrared. You can see she only has one fang left. She looks very very happy.