Monday, 27 September 2010

It was 100 years ago today ...

...that Professor Robert Williams Wood gave his landmark lecture Photography by Invisible Rays to the Royal Photographic Society at its HQ in Russell Square, London. As the RPS members meeting card shows, this was at 8pm.

To put this in context, it was only four years since Wratten and Wainwright had started production of the first panchromatic photographic plates available in the shops. Before this photographers wanting to photograph anything red had to sensitise their own plates. Ironically, the new panchromatic photography had its detractors who said that this was not real photography at all; that the world as seen through the lens should only record ultraviolet and blue. Into this photographic world Wood introduced the often surreal and potentially very useful features of infrared imaging.

At this time it seems that only Wood (starting in 1908) and CEK (Kenneth) Mees of Wratten and Wainwright and the Croydon Camera Club (who took some of his own plates to Portugal in 1910) had ever photographed infrared landscapes. Now Google images returns ten million hits on the word infrared and over a million on infrared photograph. Wood's landscapes are where it all started, over a century ago.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Only one photo left ...

Elliott Landy's amazing infrared portrait of Bob Dylan arrived this morning which means I am now only one image short of the set for the Infrared 100 exhibition. Ilford have done an amazing job printing up the historic images we got from archives both here and in the USA and the photographers I contacted have been extremely helpful in supplying prints and, in many cases, matting them to fit the RPS frames. Even the RPS president has joined in the fun by cutting loads of mattes and even solved the problem of how to frame a century-old edition of the Illustrated London News.

I'll post a list of the images in a day or so but any of you within striking distance of Bath should make an effort to come along to Fenton House. Details in the later post.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Infrared 100 Symposium: Day 2

The second day of the symposium at Burlington House (which also houses the Royal Academy in Piccadilly, London) on October 8th is dedicated to infrared astronomy and organised by the Royal Astronomical Society. Chairs for the day are Helen Walker and Peter Clegg.
  • The UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey
    Steve Warren, Imperial College London
  • Cosmology in the infrared
    Michael Rowan-Robinson, Imperial College London
  • Multi-wavelength far infrared imaging: HERSCHEL today and SPICA tomorrow
    Matt Griffin, Cardiff
  • SWIRE: FIR Luminosity function and the SFR of galaxies at 0 < z < 1.5
    Harsit Patel, Imperial College London
  • AKARI observations of the Galactic Plane
    Mireya Etxaluze, Harvard Smithsonian CfA
  • The impact of HERSCHEL on studies of star formation
    Derek Ward-Thompson, Cardiff
  • Near-infrared performance of the wide-field survey telescope VISTA
    Jim Emerson, QMUL
  • Direct imaging of extra solar planets in the infrared
    Anne-Marie Lagrange, Grenoble
  • Exploring the Universe with WISE
    Ned Wright, UCLA
  • Infrared Imaging with JWST
    Gillian Wright, UKATC
A booking form is available on the RPS-ISG web site and there is a discount for attending both days.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Infrared 100 Symposium: Day 1

Here is the programme for the first day of the two-day Infrared 100 Symposium at Burlington House, Piccadilly London on October 7th. I'll add the second day program (which is on astronomical infrared) tomorrow. The event will be opened by the President of the Royal Photographic Society, Rosemary Wilman Hon FRPS.
  • Keynote Lecture: RW Wood at Johns Hopkins - A Panchromatic Legacy
    Prof Paul Feldman, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
  • A Century of Infrared Photography
    Andy Finney
  • Infrared Thermal Imaging of the Human Body: from Analogue to Digital
    Prof Francis Ring
  • High-Performance Thermal Imagery from 1st and 2nd Generation Cameras
    Prof CT Elliott, FRS
  • Your Tiny Hand is Frozen
    Prof Kurt Ammer, Vienna
  • Thermal Behaviour of the African Elephant
    Prof James Mercer, University of North Norway
  • Sleep Deprivation and Frustration - Filming Wildlife for Television using Infrared
    Colin Jackson, BBC Natural History Unit Bristol
  • IR surveys of Buildings, the Energy Conservation Story
    John Snell, Vermont, USA
  • Satellite and Terrestrial Thermal Imaging to Monitor Volcanoes
    Talfan Barnie, Cambridge, UK
  • Visualising the Earth with Infrared (in a multispectral context)
    Dr G Awcock, Brighton University
A booking form can be found on the RPS Imaging Science Group web site.

Friday, 17 September 2010

More from Chris Lavers

I have already mentioned Dr Chris Lavers' talk Swords to ploughshares but Chris tells me the date has been brought forwards to Tuesday November 9th at 8pm. The venue is the @Bristol Centre Science Café.

His fascinating exhibition of thermal images of animals and even insects is also making more appearances:
  • Bristol Science Centre October 11 - November 9
  • Institute of Physics, London November 24
  • Flavel Arts Centre, Dartmouth January 3-17 2011
More school exhibitions are planned for 2011.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Infrared 100 at IBC 2010

Just a quick reminder in case you are heading for the IBC exhibition or conference at the RAI in Amsterdam. There will be a session on Monday 13th September at 1400 called Broadcasting with Invisible Light which will look at how infrared imaging has impinged on television and the movies in the past 100 years. Speakers are Iain Logie Baird talking about his grandfather's work on infrared TV in the 1920s and 30s, Professor Rod Thomas explaining and demonstrating thermal imaging, Colin Jackson from the BBC Natural History Unit showing how they do programmes like Big Cat Live with infrared technology ... and me with a few explanations about how it all fits together and showing a couple of extracts from movies that used infrared.

[Later] Fascinating session for a select audience and I am now learning a lot more about Baird's Noctovision. Thanks to all who came along.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Infrared 100 Exhibition

There will be a small but select exhibition of infrared images at the Royal Photographic Society HQ in Bath running from Friday October 1st to Friday October 28th.

The images on show will represent historic and contemporary work with a mixture of scientific and artistic images. Photographs include the work of photographers including renowned artists Abe Frajndlich, Elliott Landy and Simon Marsden, as well as Society members including Tim Rudman, Clive Haynes and Alan Lewis. The opening hours are 9.30am – 4.30pm, Monday to Friday; admission is free.

The address is Fenton House, 122 Wells Road. Bath. BA2 3AH

Monday, 6 September 2010

New linked web site: Dome from Malaysia

We have a new infrared photographic web site joined to the project. The enigmatically named Digital Dome, from Malaysia, and his exotically coloured views from, what is to me, the other side of the world.

His URL is