Luminol Photography

Whilst the Luminol reaction is relatively easy to see with the human eye, it is not so easy with the camera. When we used traditional film we would do the following

400iso colour film

2 - 3 minute exposure


This was very hit and miss, sometimes the images would contain too much light resulting in the luminol reaction becoming almost invisible. Since the introduction of digital the process has become very much easier but there is one new technological problem. This is ‘image noise’ and the quantity varies considerably between the different camera manufacturers.

The images above were photographed with two professional DLSR cameras, has a good signal to noise ratio and the other has a poor one. The best cameras for this low light photographic work are Professional DLSR’s with a full frame sensor.

During training courses we will teach you how to photograph this reaction using the latest digital technology. We will also provide recommendations as to the cameras best suited for this application. At present we are recommending the following:-

Nikon D3, D700 or full size sensor Canon

24mm fixed lens (not zoom) as we need F 2.8

Digital Enhancements

If the Luminol reaction is week it is possible to significantly enhance the ‘effect’ using digital technology with Image Pro Plus software. We are able to extract the channel containing the Luminol Reaction, enhance it and ‘add’ it back to the original image. Look at the following example:

Original Image Digitally Enhanced Image