Quaint Infrared Scene of Deer in the Back Yard

Orinda resident took unique image at sunrise the other morning.

Chris Decareau heard rustling in the backyard in the pre-dawn light the other morning, but couldn't see what it was.

With a camera from work, he captured this infrared image of a small family of deer in the yard on La Espiral Road in the hills around the Orinda Country Club. "Glad it was deer I saw with the infrared camera, not a family of skunks!" wrote Decareau in an email.

More from his email explaining the technology:

"The infrared technology comes from space/military use, but is increasingly used in the building industry. Like regular photography, the infrared camera (Flir E50bx) simply catches electromagnetic waves on a detector. It's just that the detector is looking for lower wavelengths than the human eye can pick up (i.e. "below" red). Wavelengths below red, generally, correlate to different amounts of heat. Hence, I could "see" the deer with the camera (white/red) when all my eyes could see was grey (blue, in the image). This is how deer are well camouflaged in the environment."

Decareau works in the San Francisco office of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, a national engineering firm that investigates and rehabilitates structures. He uses the infrared camera for leak detection to see heat loss and air exfiltration surveys in designing building facades.


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