Art Meets Science In The Cold Wastelands Of Iceland

Although Iceland is now a popular destination for the day-tripping selfie-seeking Instagrammer who rents a 4×4, drives it off road onto delicate ecosystems and then videos the ensuing rescue when the cops arrive, there are still some genuine photographers prepared to put a huge amount of time and effort into their art. [Dheera Venkatraman] is one of the latter and produces composite photos using a relatively low resolution thermal camera and DIY pan and tilt rig.

Whilst we don’t have the exact details, we think that, since the Seek Reveal Pro camera used has a resolution of 320 x 240, [Dheera] would have had to take at least 20 photos for each panoramic shot. In post processing, the shots were meticulously recombined into stunning landscape photos which are a real inspiration to anybody interested in photography.

If you do go to Iceland you might find the traditional food a little challenging to those not raised upon it, nor would you go there for a stag night as beer is eyewateringly expensive. But if you enjoy uninhabitable, desolate, dramatic landscapes there is a huge range of possibilities for the photographer from rugged, frozen lava flows to extra terrestrial ‘Martian’ crater-scapes, if you know where to find them.

[Dheera’s] blog contains some more information about his Iceland photography and there’s a Github repsoitory too. And if you cant afford a $699 Seek Reveal Pro, maybe try building one yourself.

13 thoughts on “Art Meets Science In The Cold Wastelands Of Iceland

  1. Okay this is pretty amazing photography.

    Now that I see Seek is offering handheld models with decent resolution, is there any way to display their image on another screen? Has anyone hacked them yet for this, or thermal video record capabilities?

    Predator helmet is beckoning me….

  2. The IR camera doesn’t necessarily need to be high-res to get relatively great-looking ‘post-processed’ images, though. The basic workflow would look like this: 1> Take normal high-res photo in RGB mode. 2> Take low-res IR photo. 3> Rescale low-res IR photo to high-res size, lay a blur filter over it to smoothen out the pixelation. 4> Additively merge the red layer of your high-res photo with the upscaled IR photo, divide results by two do avoid clipping of the highlights. The result is a photo that will preserve the high resolution detail of the ‘normal’ shot, but nicely highlight the hot details of the IR shot at the same time. It’s not super useful for scientific purposes so you won’t find it as a default feature in most IR cams (well, FLIR’s overlay mode does something sliiiightly similar and also adds an edge detection filter to the output), but it LOOKS artistically pretty impressive.

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