Accepted Paper:

Automated System for Enhanced Scientific Computational Photography  


Peter Fornaro
Rudolf Gschwind (University Basel)

Paper short abstract:

We show a system for enhanced capture of surface features of originals. The aim of the system is to transform as much information to the digital domain as possible. The solution consist of an UV/VIS/IR-LED lightdome and modern software to model BRDFs and to visualize and interlink digital objects.

Paper long abstract:

Todays digital technology incorporates various new possibilities for scientific photography. Digital cameras have high sensitivity in a wide spectral range. New LED light-sources allow the surface illumination with small bandwidths in the visible, UV and IR range. Modern software can visualize captured data in numerous ways, including surface reflection measurements, high fidelity color reproduction and 3D data.

In history scientific photography has been a commonly used method to visualize and document scientific effects and object features. In the early phase of the digital era scientific photography has mainly be used as a technology to convert analog originals to digital representations. In a simple case this was the reproduction of analog photographs, in the more sophisticated case for example sculptures have been digitized. Many of the well know scientific techniques are still not systematically applied in digital scientific photography even though the advantages are significant.

We present a solution that integrates a computer controllable LED light system, state of the art approaches for the modeling of BRDFs and a WebGL based visualization plug-in that can be integrated in a Virtual Research Environment called SALSAH. The whole system allows museums and archives to mass digitize numerous types of originals. Such an enhanced solution is an ideal approach to render originals accessible on the web in high quality and with high digital functionality for science and research. In addition the proposed system can be used to document the state of an object for example in the context of restorations.

Panel P28
Photography as a research method