Public Lab Research note

Final day of infrared photography at Parts & Crafts

by warren | April 20, 2011 21:52 20 Apr 21:52 | #186 | #186

Today was the last of our 3 days doing "pole aerial photography" (coined by Nathan Craig?) with near-infrared cameras at Parts and Crafts in Somerville, MA. (I posted about this on Monday too) We spent yesterday testing PVC tube "towers" and building mechanisms to trigger the cameras at the top of the towers using string and popsicle sticks, as you can see in this picture:

Parts and Crafts infrared photo tower

Today we got everything together and went to the Tufts community garden.

On the way to the Tufts garden

where tried raising the tower to 30 feet -- 3 ten-foot PVC sections. That didn't work -- the PVC was too flexible. So using just 2, we managed to take several pictures, but some technical difficulties prevented us from getting a good pair of infrared and visible photos:

Infrared pole aerial photography at the Tufts garden

Undeterred, we returned to base. Earlier, we'd discovered a way to modify $10 Walgreens digital cameras to take infrared photos -- without completely disassembling them! It's possible to remove the front panel and unscrew the lens assembly, shatter the filter, and replace it with a piece of negative film. These aren't the cameras we used for the tower photos, but we plan to try that at some point.

the lens, unscrewed

In any case, we did get a great image of the front of the church hosting Parts & Crafts; I threw together a couple of last-minute composites. The one at the top is NRG, and below is NDVI. Read more about these techniques on this page.

NDVI "heat map" of photosynthesis at Parts and Crafts


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