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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Infrared photography

I recently heard on the naked science podcast that pointing a remote control to my camera phone I could see it flashing, because the sensitivity of the CCD inside extends to the near-IR.

It wrks! And it gave me a terrible case of cognitive dissonance to look at the remote through the screen, then with the naked eye, then with the screen again and so on. I just could not believe it, PhD in physical chemistry notwithstanding my mind was not prepared to accept it.

Anyway, the cool factor of the thing pushed me to show it to all my friends (real, as virtual) and to look on the for more info about it, and possibly for how-to on how to build a proper IR-camera.

I discovered that few of them IR-capable cameras are sold, mostly for forensic use, possibly because you can see through clothes. In general, CCD are screened against IR not for this reason, but because the color yield is altered by the IR noise.

Anyway, there are plenty of descriptions on line and may be this evening I'll buy a 9.99 EUR webcam to open it and remove the IR filter. I already have a ten diode IR lamp at home, so may be it'll be enough to get nice pictures of my house in human-eye darkness.

More to follow!

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