Infrared photography with the Public Lab! It’s been an awesome week so far at April Vacation Camp! One of the highlights has been a 3-day workshop with Jeff Warren of the Public Laboratory, hacking cameras to measure photosynthesis of plants in nearby gardens. The project: Modifying cheap ($10) digital cameras to remove the infrared filter so they will capture near-infrared light. Near-infrared is just beyond the visible spectrum, so we can’t see it, but camera sensors will pick it up if you remove the filter. Plants don’t absorb infrared light (i.e. they don’t use it for food), which makes it a good indicator of how well different plants are photosynthesizing. So we modified cameras, put them up on 20 foot poles, and headed down to Tufts to see how their gardens were doing! Here are some photos of what kids worked on during the week. Disassembling cameras Sample images of church-front foliage Aerial view of Tufts gardens. How healthy are the church plants? NDVI “heat map” of photosynthesis To read more about the project, check out the Somerville page at
the Public Lab.