Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Reconyx RC60 and Infrared Light Experiments

Since November of 2009, I have been using three Reconyx RC60 units in various configurations and with various strategies in an attempt to capture images of sasquatches. I haven't had success... yet.

I am very confident that this technology can be used to photograph sasquatches. However, I also suspect that there is one major obstacle that has (thus far) prevented many game/trail camera owners from obtaining clear pictures of sasquatches...

I firmly believe that sasquatches can see into the infrared spectrum. I also firmly believe that they avoid (and circumnavigate) flashing infrared lights.

Most of the newer motion-activated camera technology utilizes infrared light in short bursts to illuminate the scene, thus illuminating whatever "subject" triggered the camera. I think that sasquatches can see these flashes (when the cameras are triggered by wind, other animals, etc.) and will avoid walking in front of the flashing object(s).

It would take a lengthy article to explain my position on the issue; and perhaps I'll write that article in the future (when more corroborative data is gathered and released). Until that time, I'll just say that I am currently conducting a series of experiments that are predicated on the notion that sasquatches can see into the IR spectrum.

The goal is simple. I am trying to perfect a methodology of using the Reconyx RC60's with their on-board IR flashes disabled, and with an alternative, static IR light source, still illuminate the "scene" and "subject" enough so that the RC60 units can clearly photograph them. This way, I could use the units in an array that would visually cover a target area, but the units would emit no IR flash that would give away their respective positions.

I have been writing draft after draft of ideas and concepts in an effort to achieve this goal. Once I feel like I have a solid strategy, I'll be experimenting with it in field targeting places with fit my "established habituation" criteria.

This video documents the first experiment: using the IR flash from one "active" RC60 to illuminate the scene for other units whose IR lights have been disabled or obscured.

Reconyx RC60 IR Experiment: Video One   


  1. Hey, Best of luck with your experiments. I've been down that road before (with less advanced models) and don't have high hopes of success, although I still applaud your willingness to try.
    The best results I ever got were right after I tried thinking outside the box. After years of hiding the gear, I undertook to ask for cooperation, as in permission to be photographed. How you do that is complicated to explain. Use the local residents, and remember that communication is two way. From the locals I worked with, the reply was crystal: "Quit trying to trick us." Gotta laugh.
    Obviously, the reuslts were not all I hoped for, but we did get some very tantalizing images shortly after permission was sought. That whole episode changed my thinking, but don't let my words influence you. Science requires replication and I'm glad to see somebody trying to replicate my old experiments.
    Keep us posted. Oh, and pay attention to everything, especially the seemingly random camera triggers. Note the condition of access trails very carefully as you arrive on site. Watch for subtle changes.
    Hope this helps,

  2. Thom,

    Thanks for the comment, and for checking out the first installation of the experiments. I am familiar with the Chehalis "Wireless Wilderness" project that you conducted. It was truly the first effort of its kind. If I may ask, were the cameras all equipped with IR illuminators, or were some of them night capable? Thanks again for visiting the blog!

  3. Thanks for starting this well written and exemplary blog. On the positioning of IR trailcams, wondering if you have considered placing the trailcam facing generally downwards rather than outwards (e.g on the underside of an overhanging branch) so that the IR flash only illuminates a small area of ground. I imagine it would need to be angled enough so you don't get just a shot of the top of a head. Do you think this combined with some sort of DIY hood around the flash unit restricting the pool of IR light could prevent it being seen at a distance?

  4. sticktribe,

    In this initial experiment, I wanted the camera with the active IR flash to be seen. My hope was that the IR flash would be bright enough to allow the other two cameras to see what triggered the active cam. I think that IR light can be used as a curiosity or attractant if it's a dim, static light. I think the rapidly flashing light may be perceived as threatening. I'll be posting the second video soon, which explores other ways to illuminate the scene without giving away the cameras positions. Thanks for checking in!

  5. Matt, thanks for the further detail. Good luck with the experiments.

  6. Maby if you can slow the shutter speed down a bit, a little longer exposer, and maby you won't need the flash at all. Longer shutter speeds will take in more ambient light. But you might get some blurry pics. 1/5 of a seccond is pritty fast. Maby 1 seccond with a setting of f8 it might get some interesting pics. No flash, no infra red. scale to worry about. I don't know if any of this is possable with your camera it might be worth a shot in the dark......

  7. jlseagull2004,

    That's a great suggestion! I'll have to experiment with that here at home. I've not explored those options with the Reconyx yet. Thanks for the comment!