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Sensing the invisible

It was William Herschel who first discovered infrared radiation, by splitting light using a prism and then measuring the temperature of the area just beyond the visible red light. Here is the man himself, in his house at Kew, with his massive 40ft telescope visible through the window filling most of his garden. I guess he wasn’t such a keen gardener. I am about to start working with infrared photography, as a way of making visible an invisible aspect of the environment. I want to use this process as part of the Biosphere project that I am about to start on in Devon: infrared images acting as an visual analogy to the mass of invisible environmental data that is the focus of that project. All clear? Well, hopefully it will become so over the next months as the project progresses. I will keep you posted. (A fantastic book on Herschel and his contemporaries is The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes. The book leaves you breathless with what Herschel and his sister Caroline discovered from their back garden.)

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