Infrared photo of a pregnant belly shows all the magic of the human body
Pregnancy is an incredible process that changes the human body in many ways. Mathieu Stern, a photographer, and a soon-to-be dad, captured a bit of this magic and change in a single photo. He used infrared, the technique many portrait photographers avoid, to show how a woman’s body changes to make life possible for a baby.
I stumbled upon the photo on Instagram and it struck me in two ways. First, I felt so happy for Mathieu becoming a dad! And second, the photo itself completely enchanted me. I learned something interesting while reading the comments. Some health workers use a near-infrared vein finder, a device that helps healthcare providers locate veins in patients. Near-infrared light reflection creates vein maps, which are then displayed on a screen or projected onto the patient’s skin. One of Mathieu’s followers explains that these devices operate at 950nm wavelength.
However, Mathieu relied on an 830nm clip-in filter to take his photo. He used a modified Sony A7II that was turned to full spectrum by Kolari Vision and the company’s clip-in filter, famous for showing the veins under the skin.
“Most of the time, photographers prefer not to use [this filter] because it gives a vampire look to portraits,” Mathieu tells DIYP, ” but I wanted to create a pregnancy photo that was unique.” And he really did!
Interestingly enough, this image was actually Mathieu’s wife’s idea. She saw that this filter revealed the body’s internal structures and wanted to see if her body looked different under IR. Mathieu took the photo of her in natural sunlight, using the modified camera and the IR filter. And they both liked the result so much that they agreed to share the photo online.
Among other things, pregnancy makes veins more visible on the surface. This happens due to hormonal changes and increased blood volume, which can cause weakened and dilated veins. It may lead to the development of varicose veins and spider veins on the legs, breasts, and abdomen. Or, in this case, to a magnificent pregnancy photo.
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.