An Explanation of Infrared False-color Photography

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The pictures were taken with a so-called infrared false-color film.

Films used: all infra­red pictures on the page Ex­periments as well as on the other photo gallery sections Is­lands und Infra­red Dream­fields were taken on Kodak Ekta­chrome Professional Infra­red (EIR), and developed with the process E-6 (yields faster film speed and more saturated colors than with the development process AR-56).

Principle of operation: the films show short-wave­length infra­red radiation (around 900 nm) as red color. Because living plants contain chloro­phyll that emits this infra­red radiation more intensified, plant parts with chloro­phyll appear bright read. Red light is rendered as green, and green light as blue color.

Additionally, I used an orange filter that holds back blue light. It makes the rendered colors more in­tensive be­cause all film layers are also sensi­tive to blue light that would there­fore be rendered as white color and would impair the color saturation.

Living plants that emit mainly infrared and green light, will be reproduced by the film as mixture of red and blue, and therefore appear purple to pink.

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