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Infrared photos and night vision

     Have you ever wondered how does your garden or objects around you look in the infrared spectrum? Have you ever realized that even though you are in total darkness, someone can easily watch you? Would you tell that the objects which will appear as black can be bright or even transparent invisible spectrum? That two things which will appear as the same may be totally different? See yourself. Just look beyond the visible spectrum. You can't see this with a naked eye, but after a minor modification of commonly available equipment you can see things previously unseen :).

In any normal camera or camcorder there's the infrared (IR) blocking filter to make the resulting images appeared as is seen by naked eye.

After removing the IR blocking filter, the sensor becomes sensitive to IR light. Then you can see a mixture of visible and infrared light in the images. You can see how to modify the ordinary camera into an infrared camera or night vision. You can build the night vision by adding the infrared illumination.

If you want to shoot only infrared light image, you must use opposite filter - one that transmits IR and blocks visible light. This may be found in the remote control. It was used here to pass the IR LED light, but avoid you from seeing inside of the remote controller :).


web camera lens


after remowing the lens you can see the CCD


disassembled lens


camera lens after removing the infrared filter.


IR blocking filter. It blocks IR light and passes visible spectrum.


Glass cover from the remote controller appear as black to the human eye. Just took at its picture as an unmodified camera can see it (left). Cam with IR filter removed, however, sees it as clear (right). Although it does not look like the two pictures are showing the same object!


In the case of blocking IR filter, the situation is reversed: at the left as seen by the human eye. At right photographed through the glass from the remote controller - only infrared component was shot. Filter appears here as a completely opaque.


Spectrum sensitivity measurement.
1. Unmodified camera - sensitive only to visible light.
2. Removed IR blocking filter. The camera is now sensitive to both visible and IR light.
3. Added the remote controller filter - transmits only IR light.
CCD sensor sees the near IR (here IR1) as orange, far IR (IR2) as white.


Before removing the IR filter LED in the remote controller seems dim (left), after removal it seems very bright. (The naked eye does not see any light at all.)


Blue LED on the switch of laptop. The right photograph taken through the glass from the remote control (transmits only IR), it seems that the switch is turned off, although it is lit as seen on left photo.


Same situation with the laptop monitor. The infrared photo at right shows that it emits almost no infrared light.


Infrared photo of outside. Typically, dark green plants appear to be very light.


Blue sunglasses appear as completely transparent in the IR spectrum.


Solder iron tip in the infrared spectrum.


Comparison of 10W energy saving lamp (Compact fluorescent) and 40W normal bulb. Both light outputs are comparable. But not in the infrared spectrum. There Compact fluorescent emits almost no IR light, but normal incadescent bulb shines extremely brightly in infrared..


LEDs: Red, IR, green, IR, blue. In the infrared spectrum, all except the green seem colorless.

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My Infrared me :). Note also my shirt, that seems almost white, although it is black.


Flags of European states - the visible and infrared spectrum. Most inks seem white in infrared. Flag of Macedonia is not visible at all.


Oven and stoves :)


VFD display on VHS video recorder. On the infrared phoho (right) you can see its heater filaments glowing.


3x 5mm IR LED at 80mA current.


The homemade night vision in operation. Picture was taken in complete darkness lit by the LEDs shown above :).


IR photodiodes. They seem black, but in the IR spectrum they are transparent :)




Note for lamas:
Note for lamas:
To avoid stupid questions (educated people forgive me): Do not confuse this with thermography camera. You can't use this as a night vision to seen in the dark without active infrared illumination (infrared LEDs od bulb ...). Do not expect that you can see how heat escapes from the house, people shining in the dark or even persons through the wall with this DIY infrared camera! This mod makes the camera see wavelength up to about 1000nm (1um) and objects must have hundreds of °C so that such wavelength is radiated.



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