High dynamic range imaging for archaeological recording

Wheatley, David (2011) High dynamic range imaging for archaeological recording. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 18, (3), 256-271. (doi:10.1007/s10816-010-9100-1).


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This paper notes the adoption of digital photography as a primary recording means within archaeology, and reviews some issues and problems that this presents. Particular attention is given to the problems of recording high-contrast scenes in archaeology and High Dynamic Range imaging using multiple exposures is suggested as a means of providing an archive of high-contrast scenes that can later be tone-mapped to provide a variety of visualisations. Exposure fusion is also considered, although it is noted that this has some disadvantages. Three case studies are then presented (1) a very high contrast photograph taken from within a rock-cut tomb at Cala Morell, Menorca (2) an archaeological test pitting exercise requiring rapid acquisition of photographic records in challenging circumstances and (3) legacy material consisting of three differently exposed colour positive (slide) photographs of the same scene. In each case, HDR methods are shown to significantly aid the generation of a high quality illustrative record photograph, and it is concluded that HDR imaging could serve an effective role in archaeological photographic recording, although there remain problems of archiving and distributing HDR radiance map data.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1007/s10816-010-9100-1
ISSNs: 1072-5369 (print)
1573-7764 (electronic)
Keywords: archaeology, photography, hdr, recording
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
T Technology > TR Photography
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > Archaeology
ePrint ID: 162413
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
September 2011Published
11 November 2010Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2010 16:06
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:28
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/162413

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