Infrared Timelapse Photography of an Empty Philadelphia

Infrared photography has been increasing in popularity lately as photographers continue to push the limits of their digital cameras. Of course, infrared photography is nothing new, but it is easier and more manipulative than ever. There is true IR, and then there is color IR which is what photographer Bruce W. Berry Jr. decided to capture in his latest timelapse. Inspired by the opening scene in the latest Star Trek movie and by Ross Ching’s Empty America Series, Berry has created a hybrid video of infrared photography and photography with all people removed:

Berry uses a Canon 350D full spectrum camera (350D with IR filter removed) and a yellow filter to capture his infrared images. He also uses a Manfrotto 055CX tripod and 410 Jr. Gear Head.

Effects of Removing Your IR Blocking Filter

  • Infrared light is captured. IR light changes the tones and colors in your photo. Foliage will often appear white but can be captured as color with special filters.
  • Skies are darker. Reduced Rayleigh scattering allows the camera to capture darker skies in which clouds stand out more prominently.
  • Reduction in atmospheric haze. Removing the IR filter reduces Mie scattering and helps cut through atmospheric haze.
  • False colors can be captured.¬†Bayer filters included in most digital cameras will absorb a great deal of infrared light meaning that even if you do remove the IR filter, it may not be very sensitive to IR and will instead create false color rather than a true IR image.
infrared timelapse photography philadelphia

With his full spectrum camera and yellow filter, Berry is able to capture beautiful infrared images like this

Note that this timelapse is not beautiful solely for its use of infrared imaging, but also for its incredibly cinematic framing and camera movements. Without the photographer’s keen eye, it would be a short video with strange colored trees.

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