HONR 208W: Digital Images: Art, Science, and Ethics
Evan Golub (

  • Guitar strings as seen via an electronic rolling shutter
  • An example of using a telephoto versus wide angle to alter the apparent size of things.
  • An analysis of a picture that seemed to good to be true from Reuters.
    REMINDER: The final exam is in CSS 1410 on Monday, December 19th from 10:30am until 12:30pm.

    12/20: I have updated the server with the final exam grades, the semester totals, and your semester letter grades. The median score on the final exam was an 86.5 and the median semester total was a 90. Grades probably won't appear on Testudo until tomorrow. I hope you all enjoy your winter break.


    12/13: I have posted some sample final exam questions. Have a question you thought might have been on the same list? Then e-mail it to me by tomorrow evening. I will update the samples list with student question ideas and will consider them as I am writing the actual final exam over the weekend.

    12/02: The University's CourseEvalUM site is open for this semester. This is the official University site for course evaluations, so please visit it and give feedback on this and all of your other courses this semester.

    12/02: Looking for a reading for your journal? How about one on human versus automated retouch detection.

    11/17: The programming project.

    11/15: Two links mentioned today - bronze artifact found in Alaska and TinEye Reverse Image Search.

    11/15: On Tuesday, November 22nd rather than a class session we will go see Richard Stallman's talk "Free Software in Ethics and in Practice" in CHM 1402. The talk is 2pm-4pm, so if you have another class to go to or somewhere else to be in general after our class time ends, it's probably best to sit towards the back on an aisle to make it easier to slip out at 3:15pm when class time ends (you won't be alone in doing this). If you aren't able to come to the talk, please read The Right to Read instead. The ability to create and distribute information digitally raises some interesting questions in terms of (for example) access.

    11/15: I've posted photo assignment #5 to the photo assignments page.

    11/09: We will use these pictures in class on Thursday: rose, lollipop, girl in dress, child's face, alien.

    11/09: An example panorama processed with two different tools, source images provided.

    11/08: I've posted the extra-credit How-To assignment.

    11/08: If you download an ISO file from the Dreamspark site, you can get the free tool PowerISO to mount it as a virtual drive and then install from that.

    11/04: I'm posting the Visual Studio projects from class in zip format. The first was the Concentric Circles and the second was the Random Noise. You should be able to download these, unzip them, and then open them using Visual Studio.

    11/02: is a Microsoft resource for getting "free-for-students" versions of things like Visual Studio.

    10/26: Please read about the Cornell Box - it is an example of a simulated scene that is used in some experiments and class projects related to computer-generated images. Explore this site and include it in your readings journal. I also found the web page of a student in a class where they generated several variations of the box - the images start at HW#5 on this page.

    10/26: Some information about that deblurring ability that came up in class yesterday. There is actual work being done on this and in certain scenarios it does work quite well. There is even local research being done in this field.

    10/25: The team project description has been posted.

    10/25: I've posted the exam scores to the server. I will return the exams on Thursday.

    10/13: A few more pics we might edit today: a goose, a building, boats on the water, a monsterous hand, a crowd around a monster, a crowd around the Washington Monument.

    10/12: On Thursday, we will use this picture of a dollar and this one of a sundial as well as this program to explore image rotation and straightening.

    10/11: Here are some example question types for the upcoming exam.

    10/06: I've posted photo assignment #4 to the photo assignments page.

    10/05: We'll explore "loss" in image compression with these and other files tomorrow in class.

    10/04: I have put up a quick survey regarding the general format of the midterm exam. Please answer the survey between now and Monday (October 10th).

    10/04: I've posted a draft of the slides for today.

    09/29: We'll edit this image today in class.

    09/28: Homework #2 has been posted.

    09/28: I have posted grades for the first two photo assignments on the server. If you don't have a grade, it might be because you didn't send me your Flickr name and I couldn't guess it, so if you did them and don't have a score, e-mail me your Flickr name.

    09/27: I've posted slides for today.

    09/27: I've made a slight update to the journal description; specifically the name of the document needs to include your name.

    09/24: I updated the slides from this past week (Histograms, Color channels and GIMP).

    09/23: There are two shadow-themed sub-options for photo assignment #3. The first is "meaning in shadows" where you compose a photograph so that the shadow has the meaning or look of interest. For example, in this image by George Steinmetz the things that look like camels are really the shadows of camels. The second is "hidden in shadows" where you will compose a photograph where something is hidden in the dark and you use selective level adjustment to create a second version from that image where the hidden thing is revealed. Post it (or them in the second case) to the Flickr group and give it (or them) the tag pa03. Also, in the description part of the Flickr page, give a brief explanation of how you decided to create the image. Since this assignment should take some planning time, the due date will be Thursday, October 6th before class time.

    09/22: Today in class we will explore color channels using a Visual C# program.

    09/21: I've posted the portfolio description so you can start building this as you take photos.

    09/21: I have posted a draft of the course notes, the moon, the snow, and the ballroom.jpg photos for you to use to experiment with things in GIMP. I have also posted three pictures from NASA that we will use in class tomorrow: 601nm, 535nm, and 482nm.

    09/17: Homework #1 has been posted.

    09/15: For photo assignment #2, you are asked to take an interesting photo or pair of photos showing something to do with light. It could be something with shadows. It could be something with first and second shutter flash and a friend walking with a flashlight. It could have to do with colors or contrast. If in doubt, send me an e-mail message at asking if what you have in mind fits the spirit of the assignment. Whatever you do photograph, please post it to the class Flickr group and give it (or them) the tag pa02. Also, in the description part of the Flickr page, give a brief explanation of how your image uses light or demonstrates something related to light. The due date for this is Thursday, September 22nd before class time.

    09/15: In class we will hopefully use THIS IMAGE today.

    09/13: The slides for days 4 and 5. (Light and the Camera - UPDATED)

    09/08: For photo assignment #1, you are asked to go out and try to take a simple portrait-style photograph of a person who agrees to a simple time-for-jpg model-release agreement. If you ask a few people and they all say no, fear not, you can also take a portrait-style photograph of an object such as a stuffed animal. Whatever you do photograph, please post it to the class Flickr group and give it the tag pa01. If it is a person, please don't post their name. You'll need to sign up for a free Flickr account if you don't already have one. You don't need to use your real name, you can make up a nickname for you account if you'd like. Just please send me Flickr-mail on the site telling me who you are from your account there. The due date for this is Thursday, September 15th before class time.

    09/08: The third set of course slides. (Images and the Law)

    09/05: The second set of course slides. (Vision, Color, and Illusions)

    09/02: A story about a 570-megapixel camera and how it will be used in the search for dark energy.

    08/31: First set of course slides. (How Eyes and Cameras "See" Light)

    We will not have an official textbook for this course, but rather a variety of readings mostly from web sites and book excerpts made available during the semester as well as the posted course notes. You will need to maintain a reading journal (tentative description) during the semester.

    You will need to have access to a digital camera beyond that in a cellphone or iPad-style tablet for this class. I will discuss this in more detail on the first day, so if you do not have a camera yet, it would probably make sense to wait until at least our first session before going out to buy one. You will need to maintain an individual portfolio (tentative description) during the semester.

    As you can see in this camera comparison set from 2006 of my $20-$50 cameras (with a $500 snuck in too), very dim and very bright settings can present color and white balance challenges, but these shots show extreme situations.

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