How to Stop a Trail Camera From Taking Pink Photos

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Suddenly, with one camera, all or some daylight photographs come out in pink tones. It can occur with many models. But why do trail camera taking pink photos?

What is happening here, why, and how can it be stopped? The reason is quite straightforward: the night-time Infra-Red filter is staying down. The camera is supposed to pull it up out of the way during daylight hours.

The Spectrum

Visible light ranges across the spectrum from red to violet. Light with a wavelength longer than we can see is infra-red. If it’s shorter, this is ultra-violet.

The image-sensor at the back of the camera picks up only visible light.

This sensor is the screen on which the lens projects images. When light levels drop so low that the image-sensor fails, infra-red comes in. This is the color of the nighttime flash.

Why Do Trail Cameras Use Infra-Red?

Everyone realizes why cameras use a flash in dark conditions: it lights the scene artificially. When trail cameras first appeared, their flash was party-style, brilliant white. It worked – but frightened the animals away, when the whole point is to be invisible!

They could take color images at night. However, photos of fleeing animals aren’t useful to hunters or zoologists. This problem was solved using infra-red-light flash, which many animals don’t see.

But – the image-sensor can’t detect IR (infra-red) without help. A filtering cover comes down, turning IR into pinkish light that it can photograph.

What goes wrong? Why do trail cameras take pink photos?

A camera has a light meter and special programming connected. It calculates shutter speed, sensitivity, and whether the flash is needed.

When it’s too dark, it drops the IR filter and triggers the flash. Good… but one of two problems can happen in daylight hours. Either you put the camera where it was too dark, or the filter stuck down.

The result’s the same: rose-tinted photos. In the first case, you’ve set up the camera badly. In the second, it’s not you: the camera’s not working properly.

How to Find Out Why the IR Filter Is Down in Daylight

Are all the daytime photos pink, or just at morning and evening? If the camera was in deep shade, the light meter might turn the flash on. At mid-day there’s just enough light, so it doesn’t happen.

Put the camera in a bright place at home and turn it on. Walk in front of it: are the images still pink? If they are, then the IR filter is jammed.

Try to Fix a Jammed IR Filter

If your trail camera is taking pink photos, try the following: put the camera in total darkness, then suddenly turn the lights on. If that doesn’t make it lift the filter, smack it carefully on the side.

If these steps don’t stop the problem, you will have to contact the manufacturer.

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