June 24, 2016

Mind-Blowing Experiments with Infrared Cinematography

A British filmmaker and blogger took his camera to the streets of Las Vegas to shoot this nifty infrared video.

Phillip Bloom has offered some fascinating insight into the artistic usage of infrared video in previous blog entries, but his latest really stands out as a testament to the neo-apocalyptic feel the technique can provide.

During his coverage of NAB 2016, Bloom was able to get out and experiment with a modified Canon 5D Mark III with a 720nm filter and a Sony RX100 II with a “super color” 590nm filter. Bloom goes more into detail with his experience with the RX100 here (it's safe to say he's a fan). If the video below is any indication, the camera certainly does wonders with slow motion footage.

You can read a more detailed write-up about how Bloom captured this footage and his work in post production in his blog post. He summarizes his efforts with infrared, noting:

"I have had some people say they don’t understand why I am doing this as it could 'easily be done in post'…it can’t. Infrared shooting is more than just funky colours; it is capturing light that we cannot see, and the way the camera interprets it is utterly unique. Perhaps with a huge amount of work you could copy the colours and luminance, but we are talking a massive amount of work and you would need the reference of a real IR captured image to directly copy it, as the subtleties of the look can change drastically with different lighting conditions."

Bloom also delves into the science behind infrared technique:

"The below image shows what the human eye can see out of the entire electromagnetic spectrum of light (which is HUGE). We can see between 400-700 nanometers (nm) this is called “visible light.” Below that we have Ultraviolet light, X-rays etc…just above visible light is Infrared, and after that we have heat and radio waves. The infrared that I have been trying to capture is just above the red of this visible light at 700nm up 1000nm or 1 micrometer. Blue is the lowest colour in the spectrum at around 400nm whilst dark red is at the other end at around 700nm."

Here a few of Bloom's other experimentations:

Your Comment

16 Comments

Minds get blown quite a lot of times at No Film School. http://nofilmschool.com/search/mind%20blowing

June 24, 2016 at 5:35PM

3
Reply
Hideto
81

Exactly what I thought. We have to come up with some new awesome adjectives fast!

June 29, 2016 at 3:49AM

0
Reply

thats why I love this guy

June 25, 2016 at 10:04AM, Edited June 25, 10:03AM

0
Reply

This is sick

June 25, 2016 at 4:01PM

1
Reply
avatar
Christian Juliano
Aspiring Director/Writer
81

Anyone interested in IR photography should check out Richard Mosse - The Enclave, a photography exhibit and experimental documentary. Its far more interesting than the Phillip Bloom experiments. It was shot on Aerochrome film where IR light Takes the place of the red channel (with red and green shifting down and removing the blue channel) so its much closer to the way in which our brains would process IR as a color.

June 26, 2016 at 1:55AM, Edited June 26, 1:55AM

0
Reply

Excellent. Will check it out. Ta.

June 26, 2016 at 11:27AM

3
Reply
avatar
Philip Bloom
Filmmaker
132

Thanks for the post! I didn't actually use the 5dmk3 at all on this. That was just my first modded camera. I have just got an A7R modded with a 590nm and also an A6300 for 4K video. If was I loaded I would get a 1dx 2 modded as the 4K 60p is lovely out of that...if anyone has a spare one kicking around and feels generous. :)

Next up is getting my back up DJI x3 done for drone flying.

June 26, 2016 at 11:31AM, Edited June 26, 11:31AM

0
Reply
avatar
Philip Bloom
Filmmaker
132

So are we looking at 60fps up there or 120fps? (Somewhere in the between?)

June 26, 2016 at 9:17PM

2
Reply
Zac A. Clark
1st AC & Cinematographer
88

If you want to blow my mind, I need more than weird colors...

It's just setting me up for a video that isn't what is presented. It is a cool experiment. Yes. But "mindblowing"?

June 26, 2016 at 2:53PM

4
Reply
Johan Malmsten
Movie-Worker
162

The lens flares in "Las Vegas in infrared" are just ridiculous. The footage looks absolutely stunning but the over-use of massive flares destroys it I think.

June 27, 2016 at 3:21AM

0
Reply

If you ever get a chance to shoot with an infrared modded camera you will see how it is almost impossible to avoid lens flares when shooting wide like I was. It is incredibly susceptible to them. Some of them I wanted and liked. Others I could not avoid but I liked other aspects of the shot.

June 29, 2016 at 12:46PM

0
Reply
avatar
Philip Bloom
Filmmaker
132

Hi Philip,
Thank you for the explanation, I wasn't aware of that. To avoid flares you could never film towards the sun and you'd have to keep an eye on reflective surfaces, right?
Best wishes

July 4, 2016 at 10:40AM

0
Reply

Was wondering if anyone knows any rental houses in Europe (preferably Spain, but close by countries may work also) that rent cameras with the IR filter installed?

June 27, 2016 at 5:08PM

0
Reply
avatar
Matheus Siqueira
Director
88

Red cameras are very easy to modify as the IR blocker can be unscrewed.

June 29, 2016 at 12:47PM

0
Reply
avatar
Philip Bloom
Filmmaker
132

Unless this guy owns an orchestra, the Beethoven recording is pirated with not even an acknowledgement. Unprofessional and illegal.

July 1, 2016 at 4:17PM

0
Reply
Bob Byars
239

I'm shamelessly hopping on this bandwagon. This is some IR stuff I shot. https://vimeo.com/163185243

July 18, 2016 at 9:16AM, Edited July 18, 9:16AM

0
Reply
Ces Peynetti
Director of Photography
74