Ten Years After: Every Story Tells a Picture

Although it might seem simple today, ten years ago adding your own pictures to an on-line advertisement was novel. Then a Kodak employee, I noticed the following on the company web site,

Using an exclusive, free online tool, visitors to www.kodak.com can import up to five of their digital pictures into Kodak’s Gallery commercial, then view their own “edit” of the 60-second spot. You may then share the commercial with any number of e-mail recipients. Your personalized Gallery commercial – complete with music, scenes, and dialogue from the original TV commercial – will remain viewable via the email link for a minimum of 30 days.

Kodak Gallery had me at freemy own pictures, publicly viewable. I tried it, and figured out how to download the resulting video file – not easy because that was not Kodak’s intent.

Well, I added a few images of imaging test charts that Don Williams and I were starting to use at library and archiving institutions. I sent the file to a couple of friends.IMG_2676

Fast forward to 2016. I recently stumbled on a reference to Kodak commercials and found a version of the original on YouTube. I have approximated my original effort by editing the version that I used in 2006. In fact I have done more (title, credits, etc.) – all with free software, as before. I include a few ‘nuggets’ at the end. The video quality is, of course, limited by the version posted, but it should look OK on a small screen.

The thumbnail view includes a test chart from Image Science Associates

From the Kodak press release, ten years ago last Monday.

ROCHESTER, N.Y.–April 3, 2006–Now, you can be in pictures. Kodak invites you to join the millions of TV viewers who were captivated last year by an emotion-filled commercial in which countless photos were preserved and shared in an infinite “Kodak Gallery.”

Surface and Texture for Museums and Galleries: Archiving 2016

imaging.org_conf_archiving2016IS&T’s Archiving Conference, 19-22 April 2016
National Archives, Washington DC

Surface and texture information is important for the study of many types of historical material. When combined with image capture, three-dimensional visualization can reveal hidden characteristics, and Archiving 2016 will provide opportunities to learn about two methods, used in museums and galleries.


Rendering using studio lights at 45° from the left and right

Four-Light Imaging (4LI) uses polarized light sources to capture information about the microstructure (impasto) of artwork. The full (multi-) spectral nature of the surface reflectance is measured, which allows computer ‘re-lighting’ for different illumination and viewing conditions. Eight images are collected for a given object, and automated software displays diffuse color and surface-normal images.

Prof. Roy Berns, Rochester Institute of Technology, will be offering his Four-Light Imaging short course.


From Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative

Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) uses up to 50 still images while moving the light source. The resulting data are displayed using interactive software that simulates viewing the object at different angles as you might if holding it. The method has been applied to a range projects, including early photographs at The Smithsonian, Diego Rivera murals in San Francisco and ancient tablets at The Louvre.

Carla Schroer and Mark Mudge, Cultural Heritage Imaging, will be presenting the short course, Computational Photography Techniques for Cultural Heritage Documentation and Archiving.

Spectral Imaging: An additional, short course that complements these is to be presented by Fanella France and Meghan Wilson, Library of Congress, Spectral Imaging – Capture and Processing. In a previous post I described the planned sessions on multi-spectra imaging at the conference.

Archiving 2016
Preliminary Program

Archiving 2016 Conference in Washington DC

 IS&T will be holding its annual Archiving Conference  19-22 April 2016 at the US National Archives, Washington, DC.


Courtesy of Erin Allen, from her blog post, DICE-y Digitization

This Conference brings together an international community of imaging experts, curators, managers, and researchers from libraries, archives, and museums to explore digitization of our cultural heritage, and archiving.

It includes keynotes presentations, short courses, and Behind-the-Scenes tours at the National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress and the National Archives (NARA).

This map image is shown with a object-level target used for evaluation and control of image scanning at the US Library of Congress (Courtesy of Erin Allen, from her blog post, DICE-y Digitization)


Spectral Imaging of Manuscripts: Recovery of the Past and Preservation for the Future, Roger Easton, Rochester Institute of Technology and Keith Knox, Consultant

Implementing Practices that Lead to Use or Reuse of your Collections, Emily Gore, Digital Public Library of America

 Topics includeimage

  • Multi-spectral imaging
  • Asset Management
  • Preservation Formats
  • Image Quality Standards and Quality Assurance
  • Imaging Strategies and Workflows
  • Metadata Standards and Implementation
  • Color Science and Analysis Tools

Download Preliminary Programme here

Conference Registration form here

In praise of monochrome


Praça do Comércio, (Commerce Square) Lisbon Portugal

Another example of a travel photo improved* by algorithm – Google Pictures Assistant. My original was fine, but this version jumps out, as least to me. This was taken last September in Lisbon.

It is memorable because of a great late-afternoon walk, and a chance meeting. Minutes later I heard someone call my name from a restaurant on the far right of the square. It was a friend from Rochester, NY. He was passing through on the way to a conference.
*labelled a stylized photo, although I am not sure which style. I don’t think the optical falloff in the corners is due to my lens.

Image Quality Testing course at Electronic Imaging 2016

Untitled 1Don Williams and I will be presenting an introductory course on image quality testing next month in San Francisco. We adopt a two-hour format, providing a background for those interested in other courses on, e.g.,  Color Calibration, Image Noise Analysis, or 3D acquisition. IS&T’s Electronic Imaging Symposium will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Union Square.

camera_fig1_smallUsing an informal seminar style, we introduce the basics that are often assumed in advanced classes. The what and why, before we get to how to.

  • Why measure Imaging performance for image capture?
  • Standards versus Guidelines
  • Benchmarking competing systems
  • Color test charts, and standard reporting
  • Reference software: free and commercial
  • Sources of variability and measurement error

Course Title: EI01: Introduction to Image Quality Testing: Targets, Software, and Standards*
Sunday, February 14, 2016, 8:00 – 10:00 am
Course Length: 2 hours

Intended Audience
This course is intended for a wide audience: image scientists, quality engineers, and others evaluating digital camera and scanner performance. No background in imaging performance (optical distortion, color-error, MTF, etc.) evaluation will be assumed.

*prices for all increase by $50 after January 14, 2016

Seeing is not always believing

While in Lisbon two weeks ago, I was struck by this illusion of waves in Rossio Square (which many others have noted, of course). Even when standing on the flat surface, things appear undulating if you look away from your feet.

What I also find as interesting, when reviewing my photos is the impression that the walking family appears to have been added from another image. That being my ‘explanation’ for the illusion. They were not. Seeing is not always believing.

Praca Dom Pedro IV (Rossio Square), Lisbon, Portugal

Praca Dom Pedro IV (Rossio Square), Lisbon, Portugal