Craig Burrows Captures the Glowing “Invisible Light” Emitted by Plants Using UV Fluorescence

Craig Burrows is a California-based photographer who uses his background in physics to create these amazing images that he refers to as “alternative light photography.” The photographs you see here capture the glowing wavelengths of light emitted by plants that aren’t visible to the human eye.

While the surprising colors in Burrows' photography appear artificial, they are actually quite real; they just require special techniques to record. That’s because plants reflect ultraviolet (UV) light and emit longer wavelengths than we can see.


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Burrows employs his interest in photographing infrared, ultraviolet and “ultraviolet-induced fluorescence” to capture a unique view of flowers and other plants he collects during evening strolls near his home near Los Angeles.


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With a simple black cloth for a background, Burrow arranges his specimens in a stand obscured by black tape. Then off go the lights.

Using a Sony A77 DSLR (the precursor to the A77 II) mounted on a tripod about five feet from his subject, Burrows then paints the scene with an LED light that’s covered with a UG11 filter to block all light other than that in the UV spectrum. He uses long exposures, based upon his experience, to arrive at the result he’s after.


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Burrows’ final images don’t come straight out of the camera, but rather are the result of post-processing with Photoshop to adjust color, white balance, contrast and sharpness.

You can see more of Burrow’s incredible work on his website and on an Instagram page devoted to his work. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at @ShutterbugPix where we’re sharing our favorite photos from our followers.

Via Wired