Photosynthesis: Light absorption

English Garden in Color
The picture above is in color. We can see the colors that are reflected off surfaces. The sunlight illuminating the setting in the picture is white. This means it is a mixture of different spectra. The leaves are green because they’re reflecting that wavelength of light back at us. But all the other wavelengths of light are being absorbed by pigments that transform that energy into chemical energy.

English Garden in Black and White
The picture above shows the previous one in black & white to emphasize the amount of light being reflected off of various surfaces in the image.

English Garden in Infra-red
This image is a separate photograph taken taken with a filter over the camera lens that lets only infrared light pass through. Infrared is a type of radiation given off by heat sources. Here, infrared can illustrate to us places that are hot because they’ve been absorbing the sunlight. Take a look at the branches. They aren’t absorbing light so they remain dark. Look at the leaves and how bright they appear. Even the leaves in the shade are giving off an infrared signature.

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