Infrared Cinematography

DAY FOR NIGHT – In the heyday of black and white motion pictures, infrared film was used to shoot outdoor night scenes in broad daylight. With this cost-cutting measure, cinematographers were able to achieve an overall darker scene by adjusting the brightness after the shoot:

Bulldog Drummond's Bride (1939)The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941)ARTISTIC PREFERENCE – When the grandeur of a landscape plays an integral part in a story, two striking visual characteristics suggest the possible use of infrared film: wide open skies are rendered in stunning high contrast and leafy green vegetation appears almost white, casting a dreamlike glow over a scene:

Fort Apache (1948)Soy Cuba (1964)ARTISTIC PREFERENCE – The range of infrared radiation captured in photography and cinematography is usually termed near infrared, and the process of recording longer IR wavelengths with even lower frequencies is often referred to as thermal imaging. In the 1980s, two popular action thrillers featured scenes, in which the audience witnessed to terrifying effect how a creature capable of night vision and of detecting heat emitted by its would-be prey stalked the story's hero and his men:

Wolfen (1981)Predator (1987)