Visible and Near-Infrared Views of the Meuse River and Rochers de Néviaux

August 18, 2013

Photographer: Thierry Lombry
Summary Authors: Thierry Lombry; Jim Foster
The images above in visible (top) and near-infrared light (below) show the Meuse River and Rochers de Néviaux at Dave. Though the human eye detects light in the visible wavelengths, cameras, films and filters can be adjusted to perceive infrared light -- wavelengths that are invisible to human eyes. A little more than half of the energy emitted by the Sun arrives at Earth in the form of infrared radiation.
On this spring day, there’s not much difference in brightness between the water and sky in near-infrared light -- both are relatively dark. However, land surfaces and clouds are very bright. There’s hardly any contrast on the land surface in infrared light, especially compared to the visible wavelengths. This is because chlorophyll is reflective in the near-infrared wavelengths. Clouds, on the other hand, are easier to discern on the infrared image than on the visible image. Since the visible and the infrared images were acquired at slightly different times, their cloud patterns are different. Note that the red-colored spots on the house across the river in the middle of photo result from a sun shield placed in front of the windows. Photo taken on April 6, 2013.

Photo Details: The near-infrared image was taken with a Nikon D90 DSLR camera equipped with an internal Schott RG665 IR filter and 16-85 mm zoom lens. The normal image was taken with a D7000 camera, without filter. Images post-processed in Photoshop.