Starry Portraits Shot Using an Infrared Camera and a Microsoft Kinect
“Dancing with Invisible Light” is a project by San Francisco-based photographer Audrey Penven, who used an infrared camera to capture portraits illuminated by the invisible structured light emitted by a Microsoft Kinect.
With these images I was exploring the unique photographic possibilities presented by using a Microsoft Kinect as a light source. The Kinect – an inexpensive videogame peripheral – projects a pattern of infrared dots known as “structured light”. Invisible to the eye, this pattern can be captured using an infrared camera. The Kinect uses the deformation of this dot pattern to derive 3D information about its subjects (an ability which has already spawned an explosion of incredible digital art).
As a photographer I am most interested in the nature and quality of light: how light behaves in the physical world, and how it interacts with and affects the subjects that it illuminates. For this shoot my models and I were essentially working blind, with the results visible only after each image was captured. Together, we explored the unique physicality of structured light, finding our way in the darkness by touch and intuition. Dancing with invisible light.
Image credits: Photographs by Audrey Penven