Into the Light

This false-colour infrared image was taken with a fisheye lens during a visit to Toronto Island. The building is the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, and I decided to jump into the frame myself here and give a sense of scale.

The infrared spectrum of light is invisible to our own eyes, so this image is made with “invisible light”. There is still some variation in wavelength, allowing for the re-mapping of certain colour tones. Because these colours don’t actually exist (they would be shades of deep red beyond our vision), many photographers choose to shift the colours to reflect our regular sight; Blue sky is the key here, and accomplished by swapping the red and blue colour channels in Photoshop and further tweaking.

Infrared light reflects off of objects and surfaces differently than regular light. Any foliage will reflect massive amounts of IR, resulting in bright glowing trees. Even trees with dark red or purple leaves will be glowing brightly. The sky and water reflect less IR than visible light, making them appear darker. This surreal effect is the hallmark of infrared photography, but extends much beyond that.

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