PHO705: Symposium – Good Picture 2019 “Imaging Revealed”

Note concerning project naming:

The name Motherline is introduced into blog usage below as it is now being adopted. Motherline refers to the photography of healing wounds and the resultant abstract glow images from a digital post method.

Imaging Science

Long-awaited, the Symposium on imaging science took place at the University of Westminster. on Saturday 14 December 2019.

The opportunity existed to be introduced and meet people from the scientific and medical community. A number of those present were from the Kodak or Ilford companies and from the Universities or other professional bodies.

Imaging science participants were generous in giving their time to listen to the Motherline image glow and the post-processing techniques used.

Michael Turner based on UV image by Dr J Crowther
Michael Turner based on UV image by Dr J Crowther

A processed image was created from a UV image portrait captured after the Symposium talk Imaging the Skin – UV, visible light and IR

As preparation for attending the conference, research was conducted into image compression and decompression, as the techniques used in enhancing glow in Motherline photographs.

It became possible to describe to a medical forensic imaging expert the art interpretations of glow in healing and in return obtain vital and conclusive feedback.

A detailed discussion was had on the processing steps for potential infrared detection. The wavelengths for emanations from healing wounds at human body temperature are very long wavelength, well beyond consumer camera detection capability. The conclusion was that there will be no detection of IR emanation.

Where IR is received by a smartphone camera, in the example of the domestic remote control, the wavelength is short enough to be detected depending on the exact optics of a specific camera, lens and bayesian filter.

Blood Supply |Bacterial Fluorescence

However, in the project photography there is a glow present, so where does it come from? A general news article explains (Hrala, 2016).

Foremost is the presence of blood supply around a healing wound.

Potentially there is fluorescence present. Bacteria gather in the region of a healing wound. When excited by an external light source a glow will appear in the visible spectrum. A Japanese research paper examines this in detail (Koboyashi, 2009)

Detection used a cooled CCD in conditions of complete darkness. With a prosumer camera, there is no detection of direct bodily emanation from a healing wound. Rather than emanation, an external light source excites the bacteria and produces fluorescence in the visible light spectrum.

Both of these effects are the likely cause of the glow that appears in the photo project images.

Bibliography

Hrala, J. (2016) You Can’t See It, But Humans Actually Glow With Our Own Form of Bioluminescencescience alert. Available at: https://www.sciencealert.com/you-can-t-see-it-but-humans-actually-glow-in-visible-light.

Koboyashi, M., Daisuke, K. and Okamura, H. (2009) Imaging of Ultraweak Spontaneous Photon Emission from Human Body Displaying Diurnal RhythmPLOS | ONE. Available at: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0006256.

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