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Simon Marsden Infrared Gothic Photography


"There are more things betwixt Heaven and Earth

than can be dreamt of in your philosophies, Horatio."


-William Shakespeare

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Here I will post links, lectures and brief thoughts on where you can find more on the use of equipment and theories in paranormal research. 


EMF Detectors




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There are a number of reputable ghost hunters who do not like the use of digital cameras as primary photographic evidence. Here is an excellent article which disputes this view written by Dagulf posted on the Tripar website.


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Confused about the difference between nightvision cameras and thermal viewers? These links help to explain.


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Here is a link to a site which rates infrared film.,and,White,Film/PLS_3119crx.aspx


Infrared Range refers to region of maximum sensitivity. For a quick rule of thumb, the lower end of the range is red at 700 nM. Between 700-400 nM is the visible light range. Lower than 400 nm is ultraviolet and beyond. The shorter the wavelength (smaller the number) the higher the frequency. Cost is from Glazer's in Seattle, (#) is the number of exposures per roll. 

Film Mfg.  Infrared Range Ease of Use Cost  Availability
Kodak HIE 750-840 nM /goes up to 900 nM Pain in the butt $11.52 (36) Widespread
Macophot 820 nM Unknown $8.19  (36) Less Common
Konica 750 nM /goes up to 820 nM  Good $6.58  (24) Hard to find
Ilford 740 nM Good $7.41  (36) Good

For various lighting conditions with a #25 filter:

Hazy   f11   1/125

Normal Direct Sun   f11  1/250

Very bright  f11   1/500


Credit to Ghosts, Critters & Sacred Places of Washington 2 by Jefferson Davis

Here is a handy chart to illustrate the differences between Kodak, Ilford and normal B&W film. Taken from the Jefferson Davis book

Ghosts, Critters & Sacred Places of Washington 2 reviewed here


Remember to use a #25 (filters 600 nM) or #29 (filters 620 nM) filter, or else it will act like normal B&W film.



This is a branch of photography that is just now beginning to emerge. Infrared photography is another one of those things that most people either love or hate. Up until now, the biggest barrier keeping most people away from it has been cost and the fact that it can be an unholy pain in the ass to utilize. With conventional 35mm film, you have to first buy the expensive film, keep it refrigerated, load and unload in total darkness, use special filters, compensate the focus, have it specially developed at the lab, sacrifice a unicorn and a few pixies...etc. 

Wouldn't it be great to skip all that picky crap? Well, you can, but it just costs more money up front. First off, all digital camera CCD's are infrared sensitive, but they usually have a hot lens built in front which is designed to filter out most of that wavelength. How much? It depends on the make and model of your camera. One of the best ways to test is to point a TV remote at the camera and press a button - the MUTE function seems to work well. 

Can you see a bright flashing white light? If you can, then chances are good that you have the potential for infrared photography. If the light is very dim or invisible, then I am afraid you will have to either find another camera, or perform surgery and pull the hot lens out. (thereby ruining the camera for normal photography) I have a tentative list of cameras that are probably good for IR - but don't buy one based on my recommendation alone. Do your own research and see what works best.                                                                     



Nikon Coolpix 950   Sony Mavica CD400   Nikon Coolpix 990

Olympus C2020

  Kodak DC4800
Sony Mavica FD91    
Sony Mavica FD200    
Sony Mavica CD250    
Toshiba (most models)    


Sony MVC 717 - Excellent as it has a Nightshot mode which removes the hot lens. But the 707 has an exposure limiter which can prevent daytime use without a filter. (It will overexpose) I'm not sure the 717 has this feature.  I tried Nightshot mode inside a well lighted store and it seemed to photograph fine. 

After you get a good camera, then put a filter on it (Wratten numbers 89b, 87 and 87c are common) lengthen the exposure, use a tripod and shoot away. The photos you get will probably turn out real dark and funny colored, but just use a photo editor to lighten it up and grayscale the image. 


Here are links to other sites which go into more detail on this subject.


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"Up where the smoke it all billowed and curled,

Between pavement and stars, is the chimney sweep world.

When there's 'ardly no day nor 'ardly no night,

There's things half in shadow, and halfway in light,

 On the roof-tops of Lon-don, coo, what a sight!"

Chim Chim Cher-ee

- Mary Poppins