Infrared or Thermal Palettes

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Electromagnetic Spectrum

Visible Light

Everything we see with our eyes is seen within the range of the electromagnetic spectrum called visible light. Everyone has their interpretations of colors in visible light. As such, visible light has a color palette. When you click this square you can view a color palette in your browser. With this palette you should be able to create almost any color you would see with your eyes, or at least within your browser.

Color Interpretations

Everyone interprets colors differently, but not everyone sees the exact colors the same way. When the eyes see a color, the brain interprets these colors to a color you have been taught.

For example, if someone says...

What color is around this text?

...then chances are they will say green. Although the color may be uniquely and differently interpreted by an individual's eyes and brain, you have been taught that the color you see is green. Your green may look completely different to another person's green because everyone's eyes and brain interpret colors to that individual. Some colors may be interpretted as the same color by some individuals. This is evident with people who are color blind.

Temperature Color Associations

You probably heard of the expressions "Red Hot" or "Cool Blue". We associate red with hot, and blue with cold. This appears to be universal concept. Fire is hot, and it is reddish. Certain industries have standardized on this concept as well, plumbing for example. Cooler packs are always blue. Red is for Hot and Blue is for Cold.

Infrared is different. There aren't visible colors in this range. So how do electronic devices suchs as infrared or thermal cameras interpret these colors? Well, similar to temperature color associations, we could have red being hot and blue being cold, and with some color palettes this is the case. However, what thermal cameras see is a whole lot more.

Thermal Palettes

Thermal imagery occurs in the spectrum beyond visible light. As such, we cannot see it with our unaided eyes. To view this light, we would have to map known colors into the unseen world of infrared.

Thermal cameras view the world by interpreting the temperatures objects radiate. So we can view these temperatures, cameras assign color palettes to temperatures, or more precisely, to temperature ranges. We have put together a collection of color palettes from 2 of the major manufacturers of personal thermal cameras, Seek and FLIR.

Note: Not all products from these companies may have these exact palettes, and they may change with different models. Other products may have different names and palettes as well.

Seek Thermal Color Palettes

With the Seek Thermal Compact Pro camera, there is a choice of 9 different color palettes. First off, here is a picture taken with a regular camera.

Visible Palette

Below are the different Seek palettes:

  1. White
    White Palette
  2. Black
    Black Palette
  3. Spectra
    Spectra Palette
  4. Prism
    Prism Palette
  5. Tyrian
    Tyrian Palette
  6. Iron
    Iron Palette
  7. Amber
    Amber Palette
  8. Hi
    Hi Palette
  9. Hilo
    Hilo Palette

With FLIR Scout TK Series camera, you have a choice of 9 color palettes as well:

  1. White Hot
  2. Black Hot
  3. InstAlert
  4. Graded Fire 1
  5. Graded Fire 2
  6. Iron
  7. Lava
  8. Rain
  9. Color Wheel

FLIR Thermal Color Palettes

Thermal cameras also do some ranging with the image in their view. If everything in the picture is at room temperature, with a few objects hotter or cooler, then these hotter and cooler objects would stand out from the background room temperature. That is the intent of thermal cameras, to hi-lite the object which has a different temperature than its surroundings.

With the choice of different temperature palettes, the thermal camera user can adjust their views of their image, allowing them to fine tune their viewing experience.


Even though there is an unseen world in the infrared range of the magnetic spectrum, we can view these wonders by mapping out a user selectable color palette to these temperature ranges.

Thermal Camera and an Induction Cooktop

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Thermal Camera and Induction CooktopHere is a YouTube video of us taking a video using a thermal camera with an induction cooktop.

We heated up a can of soup using the induction cooktop and a pot. This oven can get a can of soup heated up to boiling in under 2 minutes. Quite impressive.

Here is the thermal video. Enjoy.

Can Thermal Cameras See Underwater

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Can Thermal Cameras See UnderwaterWe posted a YouTube video of us using a thermal camera in the kitchen sink and running a number of experiments to see if thermal cameras can see underwater at different temperatures.

The video can be broken down into 2 sections. The first section we fill the sink with hot water and then do experiments with our hands, cold water and ice. In the second section we fill the sink with cold water and put in our hands and hot water.

Spoiler alert. Based on our observations it appears that thermal cameras cannot see underwater and it does not matter the temperature of the water.

Here is the video. Enjoy.

Website Officially Launched

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Seek Compact Pro

The website was officially turned up today.

I had the basic framework for the site up already, but just had to fine tune a few things to make it suitable for official launch.

The usual stuff for launching a website. Creating a logo, icons and basic layout, verifying all links, ensure w3 compliance for every page, checking for security flaws or errors in the logs and finally, adding the links through the webmaster tools of the various search engines. All the content is being created inhouse including any images, graphs, etc. I want all the content on to be original and 100% unique (as all websites should be).

I know, mostly geeky computer stuff. But that is all part of getting a website up and going.

Camera Arrived

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Seek Compact ProThe camera has arrived! Here are some pictures of it as well as a youtube video of the box opening.

iPhone with Seek Compact Pro

One image shows the Compact Pro attached to an iPhone 6S Plus. The camera is actually hooked up in selfie mode, but that is more to show you the size of the unit compared to the phone.

iPad with Seek Compact Pro

Similarily there is an image which shows the Compact Pro connected to an iPad Air 2. Same setup, selfie placement. Just unplug the camera and face it the other way around and you are ready for business (unless you are wanting to take a thermal selfie).

Here is the box opening video of the Compact Pro.

Website Registered

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We placed an order for the Seek CompactPro camera on September 22, 2020. Even before receiving it, I figured I was going to be taking a lot of pretty cool videos. There are a bunch of "Guys" on the internet who specialize on a specific topic. You have Slomo Guys. You have Piano Guys. I figured there is enough room out there for this niche area, so now there is the Thermal Guy.

I checked to see if the website had been registered. It wasn't, so I registered it on September 24, 2020.

Things are happening a bit backwards here. I haven't even taken a thermal image yet, but I am making a website on thermal imagery and videography.

Not to worry though, things will fall into place (so I keep telling myself).

There will be the box opening for the camera in a subsequent blog entry, followed by the new series of videos on thermal videography.

Thermal Camera Ordered

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I have been fascinated about thermal imagery and videography for some time. So I decided to purchase a camera.

After doing some research, there were options within my price range. I figured I would buy an attachment for a smartphone. There are 2 major players out there for this type of attachment - FLIR and Seek.

Comparing the specifications of 2 similar models, I decided to go with the Seek CompactPro camera. Although both FLIR and Seek had their pros and cons, I leaned towards the Seek CompactPro camera with the sensor size as the deciding factor.

I placed the order on September 22, 2020 through Amazon. The order is expected to arrive on the following Monday.

Stay tuned.