Public Lab Wiki documentation

Near-Infrared Camera

Infragram feild test in Jeju island.

by SangHo about 1 month ago | 1 | 102 | 0


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Set up a Mobius Action Cam for timelapse

by warren 5 months ago | 0 | 314 | 2

The Mobius Action Cam is used in the Infragram Point & Shoot, and ...

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Change the white balance (or other configuration) on a Mobius camera

by warren 5 months ago | 0 | 273 | 2

This is part of the documentation of the Infragram Point & Shoot b...

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Getting started with infrared photography on

by warren 5 months ago | 0 | 388 | 1

This tutorial walks through working with images on, which is an ea...

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Update firmware on the Mobius Action Cam

by warren 5 months ago | 0 | 203 | 1

If you're having trouble setting the white balance on your Mobius Action Cam (used in the [Infrag...

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Install a filter or change the lens in a Mobius Action Cam

by warren 5 months ago | 0 | 318 | 2

This activity shows how to install a custom filter and/or change the lens in the Infragram Point ...

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Introducing Image Sequencer: a pure JavaScript non-destructive image processing library for Node, browser and command line

by ccpandhare 5 months ago | 0 | 388 | 2

_This past summer, myself, Chinmay led a project (mentored by Jeff) as part of Google Summer of C...

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Web Working Group Update 20: August 2017

by warren 7 months ago | 1 | 190 | 1

Missed posting an update last month as I was traveling for a few weeks, but happy to be back for ...

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More research on "near-infrared-camera" »

Title Last edited Edits Likes
Camera Selection 2 months ago by warren 19 15
Infragram 3 months ago by warren 110 11
Infragram convertible cameras 5 months ago by warren 91 6
White balance for NDVI cameras 5 months ago by warren 14 3
Infrared Camera Conversion 5 months ago by warren 2 0
Infragram FAQ 5 months ago by warren 36 2
LEAFFEST 6 months ago by warren 62 2
WATERCHESTNUTS 10 months ago by warren 44 84
NDVI from the PLOTS near infrared camera about 2 years ago by cfastie 35 2
Infragram Sandbox over 2 years ago by liz 6 1
Public Lab Lesson 3: Photography in a New Light over 2 years ago by gretchengehrke 15 5
Idea:80%COMPLETED-SAP project (Smart Agriculture Payload) over 2 years ago by Mohamed 3 1
Interpreting infrared images over 3 years ago by aguchosolano 4 0
Photo Monitoring Plugin over 3 years ago by cfastie 12 7
Infragram Webapp Dev over 3 years ago by NickJemis 35 1
ndvi-gradients over 3 years ago by cfastie 5 3
Infragram Media over 3 years ago by warren 51 2
Dual Camera Kit Guide about 4 years ago by cfastie 24 0
Dual Camera Kit Software about 4 years ago by cfastie 24 0
GoPro almost 5 years ago by gonzoearth 10 9
Near Infrared Camera history almost 5 years ago by warren 3 0
iFarm 2013 almost 5 years ago by cfastie 23 1
Near infrared imaging almost 5 years ago by liz 11 1
LeafKam almost 5 years ago by cfastie 13 1
IRCam almost 5 years ago by warren 17 2
T-bracket Dual Camera Rig over 5 years ago by mathew 11 0
Canon A495 Tips over 5 years ago by cfastie 14 12
GMF 2 infrared camera feature over 5 years ago by mathew 13 0
Dual camera kit electronics almost 6 years ago by mathew 22 2
NIR proof of concept: Trout Lily almost 6 years ago by cfastie 1 0

The Infragram Kickstarter video, a great introduction to the project.


Vineyards, large farms, and NASA all use near-infrared photography for assessing plant health, usually by mounting expensive sensors on airplanes and satellites. At Public Lab, we've developed a Do-It-Yourself way to take these kinds of photos, enabling us to monitor our environment through quantifiable data.

Our technique uses a modified digital camera to capture near-infrared and blue light in the same image, but in different color channels. We then post-process the image (using to attempt to infer how much it is photosynthesizing. This allows us to better understand and quantify how much of the available light plants are metabolizing into sugar via photosynthesis.

You can do this yourself (as with all Public Lab tools) but there is also an Infragram DIY Filter Pack available in the Public Lab Store.

We ran a Kickstarter for a version of this camera we call the Infragram. Read more about it here » Here's the video from the Kickstarter, which offers a nice visual explanation of the technique:

What is it good for?

Multispectral or infrared/visible photography has seen a variety of applications in the decades since it was developed. We have focused on the following uses:

  • Take pictures to examine plant health in backyard gardens, farms, parks, and nearby wetlands
  • Monitor your household plants
  • Teach students about plant growth and photosynthesis
  • Create exciting science fair projects
  • Generate verifiable, open environmental data
  • Check progress of environmental restoration projects
  • Document unhealthy areas of your local ecology (for instance, algal blooms)

Notable uses include this photograph of an unidentified plume of material in the Gowanus Canal (and writeup by TechPresident) and a variety of projects at a small farm in New Hampshire at the annual iFarm event. The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium has also collaborated with Public Lab contributors to measure wetlands loss following the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.

Here's an example of what one of our "Infragram" cameras sees (left) and the post-processing analysis which shows photosynthetic activity, or plant health (right). This picture was taken from a commercial airplane flight:


How does it work?

Camera modification: We've worked on several different techniques, from dual camera systems to the current, single-camera technique. This involves removing the infrared-blocking filter from almost any digital camera, and adding a specific blue filter.


This filters out the red light, and measures infrared light in its place using a piece of carefully chosen "NGB" or "infrablue" filter. Read more about the development of this technique here. You can also learn more about how digital camera image sensors detect colors at this great tutorial by Bigshot.

Post-processing: Once you take a multispectral photograph with a modified camera, you must post-process it, compositing the infrared and visible data to generate a new image which (if it works) displays healthy, photosynthetically active areas as bright regions. An in-depth article on the technique by Chris Fastie (albeit using red instead of blue for visible light) can be found here.

History of the project: While we used to use a two-camera system, research by Chris Fastie and other Public Lab contributors have led to the use of a single camera which can image in both infrared and visible light simultaneously. The Infrablue filter is just a piece of carefully chosen theater gel which was examined using a DIY spectrometer. You can use this filter to turn most webcams or cheap point-and-shoots into an infrared/visible camera.

Background: satellite infrared imaging

The study of Earth's environment from space got its start in 1972 when the first Landsat satellite was launched. The multispectral scanner it carried, like the scanners on all subsequent Landsat satellites, recorded images with both visible and near infrared light. Remote sensing "scientists" quickly learned that by combining visible and infrared data, they could reveal critical information about the health of vegetation. For example, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) highlights the difference between the red and infrared wavelengths that are reflected from vegetation. Because red light is used by plants for photosynthesis but infrared light is not, NDVI allows "scientists" to estimate the amount of healthy foliage in every satellite image. Thousands of "scientists", including landscape ecologists, global change biologists, and habitat specialists have relied on these valuable satellite-based NDVI images for decades.

There are public sources of infrared photography for the US available through the Department of Agriculture -- NAIP and Vegscape -- but this imagery is not collected when, as often, or at useable scale for individuals who are managing small plots.


Caption: Normal color photo (top) and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) image. NDVI image was derived from two color channels in a single photo taken with a camera modified with a special infrared filter. Note that tree trunks, brown grass, and rocks have very low NDVI values because they are not photosynthetic. Healthy plants typically have NDVI values between 0.1 and 0.9. Images by Chris Fastie. Visit the gallery of high-res images by Chris Fastie

Frequently Asked Questions

Ask a question about infrared imaging

Title Author Updated Likes
Camera module for Computer Vision/LED Plant Measurement System @SangHo 8 days ago
600 year old cedar tree - Infragram @Randall 10 days ago
How can I can make a raspberry pi camera just with the filters process the crops and immediately produce the results to a computer or to other device, without having to use the website? @csteran 11 days ago
How to make this picture in an NDVI image @Davide_Ferrante 13 days ago
Add a filter on a Pi NoIR camera @fsxskillz 19 days ago
How can I validate the NDVI images @Aman007 27 days ago
buying Infragram filter pack in UK @ruya about 1 month ago
How to get NDVI image by image src instead of choosing image ? @Ankita about 1 month ago
Can these filter packages be adapted to Raspberry Pi cameras? @sjmanosalvas about 2 months ago
Visible Atmospherically Resistant Index (VARI) @rway 2 months ago
Camera that would detect at 1064nm? @jpschaaf 2 months ago
Can Infragrams be used to count coconuts/crop productivity? @James_Vagabond 2 months ago
How can I have a value of NDVI starting from a IR picture? I want to find a numeric value of NDVI in pictures teken with a normal camera without IR filter. is it possible? @giuliooooo 2 months ago
Can I use a Raspberry Pi with the Pi Noir camera to make NDVI images? @warren 5 months ago
How big is the filter in the infragram DIY filter pack? @robotfarms 5 months ago
I need a help I'm doing a research project on NVDI processes @camiloreyes 8 months ago
AstroPlant RPi sensory system @Sidney_AstroPlant 9 months ago
"Test images" for multispectral image processing @warren 9 months ago
Transmission & other related information of the Red Filter @suman 11 months ago
Can I use any red filter for capturing NIR light? @sujayj about 1 year ago
I would like to know why near infared imaging works, and what it does. @kiramac about 1 year ago
GoPro Hero HD first version- Making full spectrum( Removing IR filter) @suman about 1 year ago
Can you process multiple images at the same time? @JonathanM32 about 1 year ago
PublicLab Mobius calibration @dbehr over 1 year ago
Video Infragram @jfd over 1 year ago
Query about Infragram DIY Filter Pack ( blue & red filter) @suman over 1 year ago
Question infragram kit @marfisistemidroni over 1 year ago
What is the ideal white balance for the Infragam Point and Shoot? @abdul over 1 year ago
Can anyone help me troubleshoot my NDVI imagery? @abdul over 1 year ago
How to process images using a mobius with an IR lens? @miguel_rosas over 1 year ago
MobiusActionCam vs S100 @ashwinvasudevan over 1 year ago
what are the requirements of a camera for Filter replacement and NDVI imaging? @Ajith_Kumar over 1 year ago
loading the proper camera driver for the DSK webcam @Winter over 1 year ago
Correct Config. File & Trobule shooting2 @will123 over 1 year ago
Don't know how to use DIY Plant Analysis Webcam @Barabba33 over 1 year ago
Infragram Point and Shoot Plant Cam @alexrfholland over 1 year ago
Question: Infragram point & shoot image @ino almost 2 years ago
How can one Infragram photo produce different NDVI results? @cfastie over 2 years ago
Question: how to calculate NDVI @rajsan1108 over 2 years ago
What is the correct interpretation for the NDVI infragram color scale? @DuvTorres almost 3 years ago
Modified camera with 25A red filter - NDVI needs calibration- Any Ideas? @Tbtouaki over 3 years ago
First Infragram cam trials - Primeros ensayos con cámaras Infragram @ivalethia over 3 years ago
Question: retrieving true color image from infragram images @brooksdr over 3 years ago
Will Infragram help with Indoor Hydroponics/Aquaponics? @ajawitz about 4 years ago
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How to process your images

(this section is moved to and updated at

We're working on an easy process to generate composite, infrared + visible images that will reveal new details of plant health and photosynthesis. There are several approaches:

Note: Older versions of this page have been kept at the following wiki page:

near-infrared-camera infragram n

list:plots-infrared tabbed:notes tabbed:wikis