A pair of images are captured at a blur-free shutter speed, one using a multi-spectral ﬂash (F), the other using ambient illumination (A) which in this case is 1/100th of that required for a correct exposure. The pair are combined to give an output image (R) which is of comparable quality to a reference long exposure shot (L).
Column 1 shows the dark ﬂash shot (F) and long exposure reference (L). Our results are shown in Columns 2,3 & 4. For each ambient image (A) of decreasing exposure (yielding increased noise), we show the reconstructed output (R). Column 5 shows a visible ﬂash image (V), along with a visible ﬂash shot (D) attenuated with neutral density ﬁlters so that it is comparably dazzling to F. The Low, Medium and High noise levels correspond to 6, 7 and 8 stops of underexposure respectively (corresponding to 1/64th, 1/128th and 1/256th of ambient long exposure).
In the last shot F, the dolls lips have been removed by the dark flash system
The camera, flash and color swatches
As technology becomes available to help those wishing to avoid the annoying flash photography of the paparazzi get some payback, researchers Dilip Krishnan and Rob Fergus from New York University have developed a system for taking dazzle-free photos in poor lighting conditions which could result in celebs not even knowing they're being photographed. Named dark light flash photography by its creators, the system uses light waves beyond our visible range and special software and algorithms to produce photos comparable in quality to a long exposure shot.
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