Pretty Cool: Florescent Florals

Out of the darkness there a appears a surprising source of light.

As if flowers and plant life weren't beautiful enough, it turns out there is an entire spectrum of beauty to them we have only just begun to discover and embrace.  

28-year-old photographer Craig Burrows might seem like a magician, but he's not exactly that.  He's an artist with a scientific method and an eye for the hidden beauty of plants. He photographs plants and flowers using a type a photography called UVIVF or “ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence.”

You probably haven’t heard of UVIVF.  That's not a surprise, as it is a relatively unknown process which brings out the glowing fluoresce in plant matter through the use of high-intensity UV lights.  This florescence, which becomes visible to the human eye only through the projection of an intense UV light (think cosmic black-light bowling), serves as an entire language in the animal kingdom.  This light is highly visible to insect eyes and acts as an attractant to pollinators. Insects and arachnids are also able to employ their own florescence as a warning to potential predators. It's basically the disco-ball of the bug world (Some birds may also be able to experience this spectrum).

Typically UV is removed through a camera’s lens, however Burrows photographs with a 365nm LED light which is passed through a filter to transmit only UV and infrared light. The plant life Burrows photographs absorbs this UV light and releases visible light at different wavelengths, which allows him to capture colors far more vivid than those seen in a typical viewing condition.  Dazzling!