[Humanist] 24.311 imaging the Mona Lisa

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Sep 4 10:23:04 CEST 2010

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 311.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sat, 04 Sep 2010 18:18:11 +1000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: Multispectral Imagining of the Mona Lisa

> Subject: Multispectral Imagining of the Mona Lisa
> Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2010 23:07:04 -0500
> From: amsler at cs.utexas.edu

I was just today at an exhibit of Leonardo da Vinci's inventions at
the National Geographic's small museum in Washington, DC and it
included a section on the use of "multispectral imaging of the Mona

See: http://www.lumiere-technology.com/Pages/Download/download.htm

It would seem that 'digital photography' has gone well beyond what
conventional photography can provide, mostly because the pixels of a
digital image can be manipulated digitally after they are captured,
whereas in a conventional photograph one only has an analogue
representation (i.e., you'd have to digitize the analogue photograph
to use the same tricks to get more out of it than the eye sees). Since
I can see no limit to the resolution of a digital image (other than
the ability to miniturize the electronics), it stands to reason that
digital photography may exceed photochemicals that are basically
adapted to ONE set of properties of light at a time whereas
electronics can take images with several different filters and store
all the 'data',  selectively including or excluding different
wavelengths, etc.

Of course, we're still using lenses to collect the light; but
scientifically, I suspect the ability to collect electromagnetic
radiation using multiple collection mechanisms will challenge the very
name 'photography' soon. Is it a 'photo' when what you're recording is
radio-waves, X-rays, gamma rays; and then combining them. Maybe it
should be 'photonography' (photon + graphy).

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