Infra-red is similar to visible light, but slightly too long in wavelength for the eye to see: it can, however be photographed.

In conventional infra-red photography, an image is recorded using film sensitive to infra-red radiation in an ordinary camera. An infra-red photograph shows layers just below the visible surface of a painting.

A technique related to infra-red photography is infra-red reflectography, in which a television camera adapted to receive infra-red radiation is connected to a television monitor. An infra-red reflectogram, like an infra-red photograph, shows layers below the visible surface of a painting, especially carbon black underdrawings.

The two techniques are complementary.

Source: National Gallery (London)
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