Well, I had a second post all ready to go last week, and I forgot to actually post it. Three posts this week.
Last month, I was in Alberta, and stopped in Calgary. Calgary is the largest city in the province, although not the capital. I didn’t spend much time there; I had quite a bit more driving to do that day and the next.
I did have to stretch my legs, though, so walked a bit along Memorial Drive, above the Bow River. The clouds had cleared up, and there was a great view of the downtown across the river.
This photo was a composite photo, taken with one of my Canon SX600 HS cameras and stitched together in Photoshop.
I didn’t have my modified Canon T3i camera with me at the time, so couldn’t try any near infrared, full spectrum, or ultraviolet photos. However, I did have my Seek Reveal thermal camera, so decided to play around with it instead. I like the camera, but when taking photos with it, there are three major issues. One is that the field of view is fixed, at 36 degrees. Another is that there is no way to manually adjust the ‘contrast’ of what temperatures to use(it automatically adjusts it based on what you are pointing it at). The last one is that the resolution is very low(206 by 156 pixels).
I’m not saying that I’m not satisfied with it; it is easy to use, affordable(as far as thermal imaging cameras go), very durable, has a good battery life, and also comes with a very powerful flashlight. I’ve used it camping on several occasions, and it makes me feel more secure knowing I can see any animals in nearby bushes. Just know that if you’re looking for high resolution, poster quality, pictures, it isn’t the tool for you.
These photos were composites again, stitched together in Photoshop. As I can’t manually adjust the temperature range/colour for this camera, I used Photoshop’s auto-blend feature to blend the different photos together. In the center of each of the original photos, the temperature is given next to a box and crosshairs. I left these in the photos.
There are several different filters for the Seek Reveal. My preference is the ‘white’ filter. It is the closest to my near-infrared photos- both are brighter the shorter the wavelength. The White filter is monochrome, with a brighter colour corresponding with a warmer temperature. It is also easier for me to see the detail in temperature variation.(I was a bit further back for this photo; the white vertical columns were the posts marking the edge of the trail)
The next filter is the ‘Black’ filter. It is just the opposite of the White filter- the darker the colour, the hotter the temperature. I usually prefer White, but Black does have some interesting effects at times. In this case, I think the city looks more ‘realistic’ with the filter:
The ‘Iron’ filter is in full colour, and is closest to what many people think of with ‘heat vision’. The ‘warmer’ the colour, the warmer the temperature; cool objects are dark blue, almost black, and the warmest objects are a very bright yellow or white. This was the default filter for the camera when I opened it.
I personally prefer the ‘Cool’ filter when using a colour option. The colours aren’t as ‘harsh’ as the Iron filter. It’s just a matter of preference(although I still think that any colour option has less detail than the two monochrome options) The coldest objects in the Cool filter are represented by black, and the warmest a soft orange.
There are several other filter options, but I almost never use the others. In a future post I may look at all of them, but these four are the main ones I use(and even then, 75% of the time I stick with the White filter).
The photos aren’t very sharp, and don’t have a great resolution, but I personally think they are still visually appealing. Calgary, too- if I get a chance to see it in summer or winter, I’d love to compare the thermal views between the differing seasons.
By the way, in anyone is wondering about the temperatures being written sideways; they aren’t. By default, the picture is 156 pixels wide and 206 high; I turned the camera on it’s side to capture more of the city in each photo.
I drove to Banff that night. The next day Calgary had a major snowstorm, but by then I had crossed the mountains, and was heading home.