It’s always interesting to see something familiar in a totally new light. This is exactly what photographer Don Komarechka did in the latest video for DPReview TV. In this fun video, Don shows us how insects see the world using a modified camera and ultraviolet light. And it’s incredible how flowers we see every day suddenly become something completely new!
To capture the world from an insect’s perspective, Don uses a camera modified to full spectrum. The camera filter is modified so that it passes through the ultraviolet light that we can’t see with our eyes. For best results, he also uses The XNite 330C, a 330nm filter that passes the UV light but blocks all visible and infrared light.
It’s fantastic how some flowers look different when viewed through a UV camera than through our eyes. Petals of like buttercups and sunflowers look all yellow to us, but in UV light they form a bullseye pattern that attracts pollinators. Little forget-me-nots look like they’re all the same shade of blue, but in the eyes of an insect, some of them look bright while the others are very dark. On the other hand, daisies look very interesting to our eyes, with bright petals and darker center. However, filmed with the UV camera, they look entirely gray and dull.
Don tested another interesting experiment with his UV camera. He smeared some sunscreen onto a white piece of paper. Since sunscreen blocks UV light, it looks black on camera. You can see a similar experiment here, and don’t forget to put on your sunscreen when shooting outdoors in the sun.