Mathematical photography

Reflection and occlusion removal

Blink Image go to great lengths to shoot the right photo for our commissions. Where an eye-level shot doesn’t quite cut it, we can shoot from balloons, drones, masts, ladders… We have even conducted surveyed verified photography from a yacht in the Solent!

However, sometimes there are problems with access that prevent us getting to the ideal spot. This might be through a window that doesn’t open, or from behind a fence that can’t be pushed aside. website traffic . In these situations, we resort to our professional retouching skills to ‘clean up’ the photo.

A recent white paper at Siggraph 2015, presented by, amongst others, Google Research and MIT, offers a computational approach that will automatically remove problematic reflections or occlusions without any user intervention at all! I won’t pretend that I understand *all* the underlying maths, but basically, it will involve the photographer taking three or four different photos of the subject from slightly different locations, and the software working out what is the background, and what is the reflection/occlusion. It will then save out JUST the background and JUST the reflection/occlusion as separate images.

This could open up enormous possibilities for architectural photography and architectural visualisation.


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