Good Picture 2022: Attributes of Imaging

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On Saturday 3rd December 2022, the Imaging Science Group of the Royal Photographic Society held another in its series of Good Picture tutorial seminars. This was the 18th in our series of annual Good Picture symposia, and marked our resumption of face-to-face meetings following the Covid-19 pandemic. The aim of these lectures and discussions is to provide imaging practitioners, keen amateurs and students with insights into Digital Imaging and provide some tools and guidelines for assessing cameras and output.

The programme is detailed below together with download links to some of the papers presented. These have been made available by kind permission of the authors. More may be added if and when the files become available to us.


Chris Harvey: How Many Pixels Does it Take to 3D Scan a World War II Submarine?
(Technical Director, Viewport3 Ltd.)
A new era has begun in the world of 3D scanning.  Utilising digital cameras, software and good old trigonometric calculations we can recreate an object’s shape, form, colour and texture.  This presentation for the Good Picture Symposium 2022 is based on works conducted nearly 1000 meters under the sea; from planning, capture, processing to delivering a full suite of outputs with a discussion based on photogrammetry needs, wants and possibilities.

Prof Toby Breckon: Imaging Science in Aviation Security: How Imaging Keeps the Flying Public Safe
(Computer Vision & Image Processing, Department of Computer Science, Durham University)
As passengers, although we may take our safety in the sky for granted and perhaps grumble at the length of the queue at the security checkpoint, today our safety is provided by a range of security apparatus. This includes an ever growing range of imaging technologies and associated algorithms. As we see the increasing impact of artificial intelligence driven sensors and algorithms encroach on our daily lives, many people are still unaware of the central role played by existing imaging technologies in ensuring the safety of each and every commercial passenger flight. This talk will explore our current reliance on both image technologies and algorithms within aviation security and look to current research work, at Durham and beyond, in addressing the future challenges in this area.

Dr Jonathan Crowther: UV Transmission Microscopy – A Modern Take on a Historical Technique
(JMC Scientific Consulting Ltd.)
Originally developed in the pursuit of improved resolution, ultraviolet (UV) transmission microscopy is a technique which has been around for over a century. Although its complexity, along with the advent of other techniques which also led to improved resolution, resulted in it falling out of favour with microscopists, imaging with UV light can actually be beneficial for some subjects and the author has been taking on the task of building a UV transmission microscope. This talk will discuss some of the challenges posed by imaging at these short wavelengths, along with presenting a modern take on its use in the 21st Century.

Dr Graeme Awcock: Remote Sensing of Titan – Lifting the Veil on the Origins Of Life?
(Honorary School Fellow of the School of Applied Sciences, University of Brighton)
Christiaan Huygens discovered Saturn’s huge moon, Titan, in 1655, but in 1944 it assumed major scientific significance, when another Dutchman, Gerard Kuiper, discovered that its thick Nitrogen atmosphere contained Methane, leading planetary scientists to speculate on its potential to be an analogue of the primordial Earth, and able to host atmospheric abiogenesis. Exploration of Titan was made a critical science objective of the Voyager programme, but the close encounter in 1980 was a visual washout, as its camera technology was unable to penetrate Titan’s thick brown atmosphere. Nevertheless, scientists demanded a return visit; – ultimately fulfilled by the Cassini-Huygens mission, with Titan as a prime remote sensing objective for its arsenal of smog-busting imaging capabilities…

Al Brydon: Solargraphs
Solargraphs are pinhole cameras with exposure times measured in months rather than fractions of a second. This slowing down of time produces the arcs of the sun as it traces its way across the sky. The ‘how’ isn’t anywhere near as important as the ‘why’ but it gives you an idea of what’s involved in making the work. The length of time involved raises certain questions. Is it a different me collecting the solargraph than the person who left it? Maybe a window into what the landscape looks like when I’m not there to experience it?

Prof Ralph Jacobson: Is a Picture Worth One Thousand, Ten Thousand or Some Other Number of Words?
(Emeritus Professor of Imaging Science, University of Westminster)
This paper discusses many different answers to the question posed in the title that comes from a much used quotation. It extends the answer via imaging science based concepts; based on observations by a panel of observers of images of natural scenes with numbers of pixel resolutions ranging from around 12,000 to less than 100. It discusses the relevance of this minimalist approach to applications such as target recognition, machine vision, autonomous vehicles and facial recognition.

Dr Paul Gilmour: The Application of Photography in Investigating Fraud
(Lecturer in Criminal Justice and Policing, Portsmouth University)
The impact of fraud on the world economy is significant. As fraud has evolved it has become more organized and increasingly cyber-enabled and committed across borders of law enforcement jurisdictions. This study focuses on advancements in photography and how imaging-science techniques apply to fraud investigation. Photographic practice plays a key role in many crime investigations but must embrace continual change to ensure that it remains relevant to modern policing. Fresh approaches are essential and practitioners must fully utilize new technologies and adapt to tackle the increasingly demanding scope of fraud types.