Ultraviolet photography

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Kite aerial photography in the near infra-red and ultraviolet

Photographic Techniques Index

The photo to the right illustrates the sensitivity of three cameras to UV+violet light, the Fuji S6500fd and F10 (in the picture) and the Fuji F20 which took the picture. The UV lamp (365nm peak) in front of the cameras looks dull violet to the unaided eye, when ambient light levels are low, and near black at normal light levels.

For the photos below, we used a Hoya U-360 25mm UV-pass filter - Data. We also have a 55mm screw-fit B+W 403 filter.  Note that both filters transmit some light beyond ~700nm, at the red end of the spectrum.

We also have a 25mm Schott BG39 UV-pass / IR-block filter.

Other UV filters (1) and lenses. See also ultraviolet KAP.

Fuji F10 with a hand-held Hoya U-360, 25mm UV filter.

ISO 800, f2.8, 1/4 sec. Blue channel (to reduce residual infra-red) with colour removed. Nov 2007


Fuji F10 photo without a filter.


Fuji F10 photo with a Hoya U-360 UV filter.


Fuji F30 with Hoya U-360, 25mm UV filter, attached with adhesive tack.

UV image with residual IR, ISO 400, f2.8, 1/4 sec. June 2009

Fuji F30 with Hoya U-360 UV-pass + Schott BG39 IR-block, 25mm filters.

UV image, ISO 1600, f2.8, 1/4 sec.  June 2009


Cathlaw, July 2009

An ultra-violet photo taken in overcast conditions, showing how manmade structures can be contrasted against a dark flora.

(Simply looking at the blue channel from a normal image may also be useful) 

Fuji F30 with Hoya U-360 UV-pass + Schott BG39 IR-block, 25mm filters.

Less obvious features can also be revealed.

Christopher Brooke routinely uses digital cameras for ground-based UV if there is a stable platform. For unmanned aerial vehicle, kite, and aerial photography he still uses film, as you can generally get a much higher speed and signal-to-noise ratio from some of the specialist products.  He finds UV reflectography useful in a wide range of archaeological surveys but specializes in historic buildings and has used UV widely in excavation work too.
Sutton Hoo Excavations in 1985

Quinto lift at ~15m

Visible spectrum (and again, below, photographed in the UV to reveal further features).
Note, for example, the feature to the left of the drawing frame.  UV (340-400 nm)
False-colour ramp of the UV image.
Dr Christopher Brooke, Department of History, University of Nottingham.