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Real‐time infrared imaging acquisition was used to measure the steady state intracavity spatial spontaneous emission profile along the active stripe of bulk Fabry–Pérot InGaAsP/InP lasers. The direct observation of spatially nonhomogeneous spontaneous emission profiles (relating to the spatial nonhomogeneity and redistribution of the quasi‐Fermi level along the gain guiding medium) is demonstrated. The three‐dimensional image mapping of the spatial redistribution of electrons along the active stripe well above lasing threshold is also discussed. We will demonstrate that the threshold saturation of spontaneous emission does not always occur along the entire length of the lasing cavity. Above threshold it was observed that the spatial redistribution of the spontaneous emission is highly wavelength dependent and that this observed phenomenon is a direct result of the optical cavity’s asymmetry. © 1995 American Institute of Physics.