INFRARED PHOTOGRAPHY FOR UFO RESEARCH
EUS Program for General Public: “Program Pedro Avila"***:
The human eye is sensitive on a narrow range of light, from the dark red, to the violet blue. This means there is a wide range of phenomena, which remain oblivious to us. However by using modern simple domestic video and still cameras, or using special photographic films and filters, we can begin to see the world in the way that many animals and insects see it. In this note, we will be dealing with what is called “Near Infra-Red”, or N-IR, just below the visible spectrum of light. Far Infra Red is the heat sensitive IR, as seen on police videos, tracking criminals in the dark. This kind of IR is too expensive to see without the use of special FLIR cameras. You may try using Photographic films, designed for this range. More crucially, it means we can start detecting objects that deliberately obscure themselves, and conduct their activities, invisible to us. So, we can track and film Unidentified flying objects sometimes better with IR.
The subject of infra-red and Ultraviolet, and polarized video and photography can be a very complex and very expensive one. This note is designed as a starting point, to start getting images outside our visual range, as simply and inexpensively as possible. We shall use fixed video cameras, which you fit into a special cheap card for Computer Recording, and describe how “Night Vision” camcorders can be used for Infra Red Recording. A method will be described on how to make these cameras as sensitive as possible in the infrared, and how to EXCLUDE visible light.
For this we will use security cameras, which have a video out, for connection to a tape recorder, or a computer logger. One of the reasons for using security cameras is that they have screw off lenses, and by their very nature, are designed for night and low light conditions, and for use with infra-red lighting. However any camera using a CCD image sensor will do.
This is a second hand cheap Security Camera, which has excellent color response, with a detachable lens.
show the lens detached. Crucially it can easily vary its
focus” , which is required when the IR Filter is
First we must test the camera, to see if it is of any use. This also applies to digital STILL cameras. Some CCD sensors are very carefully designed to exclude IR, and UV.
The white/greenish light is the IR light which is invisible to us, being converted to visible light by the camera CCD sensor. As this is very bright, it means the camera is good for IR work, and therefore worth converting. If you do NOT see a bright light like this, then do not bother converting the camera. Connect up the camera so you can see a good clear image on your TV set. Then simply shine any ordinary remote control into the camera lens. Its very simple, if you don’t see anything, your camera is of no use, so there is no point in proceeding any further. If you see a dull glow in the remote control, your camera is seeing the IR from the remote and converting it to visible light, you can see with your eyes. Make sure of course you have good batteries in your remote!
next stage is take off the camera lens, and the very carefully remove
the outer filters and protective glass from the surface of the CCD
sensor. If you use your own Camcorder, this may involve a
deal of very delicate careful work, and should not be taken on,
unless you are proficient in doing so.
The IR filter looks a green colour. Very carefully remove this, and keep it safe.
any other glass that may be with the filter mount, and secure this
back onto the CCD. This is important, as you are altering the focal
plane of the CCD. For this reason we are using security cameras that
have screw on lens and can be suitably adjusted to keep long distance
focus correct. If you cannot adjust the lens of your chosen camera,
you must take the IR Filter you removed, and have an exact
replacement cut from optical glass at your nearest photographic
specialist. You may use glass used in biological labs, as used for
Screw on the lens again, and adjust the back focus of the lens, so the camera will focus at infinity once more.
Then test the CCD with a remote, and you will get an increased response in the IR.
On these pictures there is so much IR getting to the CCD, it is overloading, causing the vertical smear. This is another good sign.
The next stage is to obtain an IR PASS Filter. This BLOCKS Visible Light, and “Sees” IR light.
When you have fitted the correct size of filter for your lens, you now need to use a second unmodified camera, and strap this, on a mounting plate, so that both cameras are looking at the same range of view.
You can then watch both cameras on two TV screens, and record the pictures on two VCRs. Or you may wish to take advantage of the range of video surveillance PCI Cards for computers. 4 Camera cards are available now for very little money. This enables 2 IR and 2 normal cameras to be connected and log their images onto a Hard Drive.
The motion detect software you get with your card, can be adjusted to log motion, or even allow for remote access to the pictures, using a DSL line if you are so inclined. This allows for both automatic, and remote control. These cards do not require very fast computers, just a large hard drive, and Video out port on the computer’s VGA card, so that any images you want to keep, can be taped onto a VHS, or a DVD burner.
First screen :normal camera, Second screen : IR camera vision detecting a Ufo not seen in normal vision.”( Pedro Avila pictures, 2004)
So in summary:
1) Select inexpensive security cameras, or camcorder,
2) Check your camera with the remote control test,
3) Remove the lens, and the CCD IR Filter, inside the camera,
4) Reattach lens, and check focus. If necessary replace IR Filter with neutral glass, to maintain the focal characteristic of your lens,
the modified camera is more sensitive to IR, on the Remote Control
6)Connect up with an unmodified camera, so you have a reference frame in visible light,
7)Connect to a recording device, such as a VHS or a Computer.
(EUS decline all responsabilities in case of bad use of the Program or in case of damaging material following it)
*** Pedro Avila Rubio is a young Mexican researcher who despite the fact that he is suffering muscular dystrophy from his childhood obtained the best pictures and very impressive video evidences of Ufos, a result of his perseverance, great courage and experience in scanning the skies. He is one of the first to have understood the importance of IR filming, to get more Ufos with a camera. Pedro Avila heads “Los ojos de la ciudad” groups, which are an important web of Ufos investigators, in all Mexico, well known for the quality of their investigations. Pedro Avila is also making classes for the public to explain the know-how of filming Ufos with IR.
As EUS hold in high regard the work of Pedro Avila Rubio it’s an honor for us to name this first General Public Educational Program with his name. The credit is his, in his remarkable work to promote the visibility of the phenomenon near the great public.
Pedro Avila with both cameras
Normal vision camera on the top and IR vision camera underneath.
Text credit: EUS, engineer M.J of the English team, 2006-12.
Translation-adaptation : EUS, O.L
Photo credit: M.J for technical explanations and Pedro Avila for his photos. www.ojosdelaciudad.com