Thermal Leak Detector Long Exposure Photography

thermal long exposure photograph of a Crock Pot

A little over a year ago, DIYTripods featured a technique for taking heat-sensitive long exposure photos using a modified flashlight. The photographic process behind this is explained there. This gave me an idea that one could use a Black & Decker TLD100 Thermal Leak Detector (Amazon) without modification to do the same thing.

The unit functions pretty simply. You turn it on pointed at whatever you want to appear normal temperature-wise, and it displays green.  Point it at something cooler and it becomes blue; point it at something hotter and it becomes red.  To make an infrared image, photograph your target while slowly sweeping the red-green-blue beam across, and you have a crude infrared photograph. Between 25 and 30 seconds of exposure seems to work well for me.

The one thing that is kind of tricky is that the color transition isn’t instantaneous, but it’s not impossible to work around. In addition to what’s above, I’ve taken some other interesting photos using this technique, as seen after the “read more” link. Continue reading

Make a Heat Sensitive Photo with a Long Exposure Shot

Have you ever wanted to see how hot what you’re taking a picture of is?  You could use a mere infrared thermometer and measure temperature points like a cave man, or spend thousands of dollars (or a “paltry” $1200) on an infrared camera.heat sensitive photography long exposure

The third option is that you could make a hybrid infrared camera yourself using a camera capable of long-exposure shots (or one modified to do so with CHDK) and a specially modified flashlight.  The concept is actually pretty simple.  As the temperature of what its point to goes up, the flashlight’s colors change.

Since a long exposure photo (any photo really) records all light coming into the camera, it saves the color you’re projecting on the wall at a certain point.  As this modified flashlight’s color varies depending on temperature, the image will come out with colors corresponding to the temperature.  If you carefully go back and forth with this device while taking your heat sensitive photo, you should be able to get a pretty good picture of what’s going on heat-wise once the shot is over.

The concept is pretty simple, but construction is not.  Fortunately Max decided to post build instructions on this hack, so you can build your own if you like.  The build consists of modifying a flashlight using a temperature sensor, several LEDs, an Arduino, and several other parts to get this “temperature projector” working.

infrared leak detector

If that sounds too hard, I think I’ve found an alternative to flashlight modification in this Black & Decker leak detector (Amazon).  As shown above, it displays a green light for temperatures in the range you set, a blue light for cold temperatures, and a red light for hot temperatures.  I haven’t tried it myself, but it looks like an interesting device to play with, especially using long-exposure photography.

via Hackaday