Staff photographer/videographer/motion graphics designer Maddy Minnis recently took on the challenge of photographing a variety of objects in multiple wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. These brand-new images are for an EM Spectrum exhibit, which will debut at Science World in Vancouver in late February of 2015.
The first step was to take x-ray images using a medical x-ray machine. All of the images had to be shot from a top-down perspective, which created a few challenges, particularly when some of the objects wanted to roll!
The next challenge was to photograph the objects in visible, infrared, and ultraviolet wavelengths while maintaining their position from the x-rays. This was particularly challenging for the objects being held by human subjects; they had to keep holding their exact positions for all four photographs, which were each taken with different cameras.
To capture the infrared images Maddy used a FLIR One infrared camera, which works in tandem with a visible-light iPhone camera to create both a thermal image and an outline of the object. The camera also recorded the exact temperatures of different parts of the object.
The ultraviolet images were created using a modified camera with a filter that allowed the ultraviolet light to pass through, but blocked most of the visible light. The studio was darkened as much as possible, with only ultraviolet lamps illuminating the objects. Some objects, like this shoe, were fluorescent, absorbing ultraviolet light and re-emitting it as visible light.
Visitors can manipulate these brand new images, moving them from wavelength to wavelength along the the exhibit’s ultra-high-definition 100-inch Pano multitouch table. By observing these transitions and flipping each image to read brief contextual notes, users can “see” the electromagnetic spectrum better than ever before! To view more of the images from the exhibit, visit our Flickr album.