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Computational Photography, MIT, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Frèdo Durand, Bill Freeman, Image Synthesis, Image Deblurring, Motion Magnification


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CSAIL Zooms In With Computational Photography

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) Professors Bill Freeman and Frèdo Durand are currently devoting their efforts to making photography a more precise and accessible art form, one where widespread errors such as blur are but a distant memory. Computational photography, a means of expanding the capabilities of and tackling common problems in photography through algorithms, will be for the camera what the iPhone has been to the mobile phone market, according to Durand and Freeman.

As technologically advanced as digital photography may seem, it was modeled after the film camera, meaning that the camera's functions stem from the lens. Computational photography will allow users to produce flawless images using formulas designed to achieve post-exposure perfection.

"Right now digital photography is very much modeled after what worked for film exposures, which is having a single snapshot where that's the final answer. With computational photography it's a set of data and you can go and process it," said Freeman.

Durand and Freeman have thus far developed algorithms designed to deblur images after exposure, magnify motion, and are also working on a new technique called image synthesis, which allows users to create a virtual world by blending images together into a seamless panorama.

Through computational photography comes an opportunity to delve further both into the fine art of photography and our understanding of the world around us. Freeman hopes the field will help humans get a better look at everything from motion to unexplored terrains like the Moon.

"I would love it if computational photography moves beyond getting better photos and moves towards analyzing the world," said Freeman.

William Freeman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Fredo Durand, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Agencies/Institutions (that have supported the research):
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory


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