Friday 13 August 2010

Is this the oldest IR landscape?

I have always been sceptical that the infrared photographs included in Professor Wood's 1910 RPS paper (presented on Tuesday September 27th 1910 and included in the Photographic Journal for October) were the oldest such images published. Now, following a trail suggested by Johns Hopkins University I read an early 1910 paper by Wood on The Moon in Ultraviolet (Popular Astronomy February 1910) in which he refers to his infrared landscape photographs as being of "little scientific value" and says he will explain more in a forthcoming article in the Century Magazine.

There are many editions of Century online and the February 1910 one does indeed contain an illustrated article by Wood called A New Departure in Photography. It includes two infrared landscape photos, of which this is one:

Professor Wood's summer home at East Hampton

These were taken the previous summer (1909) and might be the infrared landscapes referred to in Wood's biography. [Later: no they're not; those were in 1908 and were shots of mountains] If you'd like to read the full article you can find it here in the Hathi Trust digital library. Go to page 565 and read on.