If you want to shoot photographs of various fluorescent UV-related phenomena, it’s hard to do so when ambient light is crowding out your subject. For this work, you’ll want a dedicated UV photography box, and [NotLikeALeafOnTheWind] has a design that might just work for you.
The build is set up for both UVA and UVC photography. Due to the danger posed by the latter, and even the former in some cases, the builder recommends never using the box with a direct-view camera. If it must be done, the eyepiece should be covered to avoid any exposure to harmful light. The key rule? Never look directly into a UV source.
Light sources that can be used include UV LEDs, lamps, and tubes. The box is sealed to keep out external light. It then features a turntable that can be manipulated from outside the box, allowing samples inside to be rotated as necessary. Using a camera with a macro or wide-angled lens is recommended for the work.
The photographs taken inside the box are stunning. They remind us of childhood museum trips, where we marvelled at the magic of the fluorescent rock displays. We’ve featured some other great fluorescence projects before, too. If you’re cooking up your own great scientific builds in the lab, we’d love to see those too. Hit us up on the tipsline!
9 thoughts on “UV Photography Box Is Great For Shooting Fancy Rocks”
It’s a shame Wood’s glass doesn’t have transparency in the deep UV (perhaps it would if it were based on fused silica) because cutting out the fluorescence of the light source can really help improve the quality of the photography.
You can take 2nd photo with normal glass cover on the UVC lamp, then subtract it from the 1st one. Of course everything must be in the same position.
Would you achieve the same photography results with a 207 – 222nm wavelength far-UVC source?
That remark about the UV-C reaching eyes through the viewfinder makes me wonder what the UV-C would do to the internal of the camera over time. Plenty of material that can decay in there.
Maybe something can be done to alleviate the damage a bit. Shield it in an appropriate manner.
I recall seeing an ingenious device on the Australian TV program ‘The New Inventors’ long ago. It was a UV sample illumination light for optical microscopes that consisted of a high speed rotating mirror with two slots in it. The mirror was the outer curved surface of a slice of an inverted cone.
The UV light was from the side and turned on when the slots were not in the line of the viewer optics, and turned off when about to expose the eyepiece. A biological sample on the slide would continue to glow for that brief few milliseconds time.
I wonder what ever happened to it.
That is the same principle used in film movie cameras. Light reflects of the cone shaped mirror to the eyepiece and slots cut in the cone exposes the film.
That seems inordinately complex to accomplish something a simple filter could do much more easily.
Was that complicated getup intended to do something else, maybe? Like measure fluorescence lifetime?
No, I think it was to fluoresce a sample without exposing the viewer’s eye to UV.
Perhaps an auto-darkening welding helmet filter might work as a replacement, I don’t know.
But that would introduce an extra few layers of glass in the optics path whereas the rotating shutter allows a direct view.
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