Sunday, December 28, 2008

Shroud Update

The Shroud of Turin continues to be an object of great fascination regardless of whether it is the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ as so many believe or some sort of amazing icon or work of art from the 14th century as the 1988 carbon 14 date seems to suggest it must be. Whichever it is, it is a fascinating and mysterious object.

I have been studying the shroud since the early 1960's, more seriously in the past 20 years. I am inclined to the view that it is authentic, but there remain plenty of unanswered questions. Perhaps some will be answered using new data. HAL 9000 an organization that specializes in high resolution art photography made a high resolution image of the Da Vinci Last Supper painting and were given an opportunity to apply their wizardry to the Shroud of Turin in January 2008. See a brief video HERE They took a series of over 1600 credit card sized images at high resolution which composited forms the highest resolution image of the Shroud of Turin ever taken.

Technology seems likely to revolutionize shroud studies, called sindonology, over the next few years. Here's an on-line video of a small thread from the shroud which researcher Giulio Fanti is inspecting with a microscope.

The images at the top of this post are false color images created during my image processing studies for the Columbus Conference in August 2008. The objective of my study was to create a segmentation algorithm which classified pixels as cloth, blood, or image based on their color and luminance. The first is particularly interesting since it colors all pixels black except those considered image or blood pixels and is hence coherent with the areal density view of the image formation process. The second image is created by a set of six color/luminance space points representing six classifications. A pixel is classified by which of these six color/luminance space points it is closest to. It worked pretty well but there is more to be done.


Mark Lefers said...

What's the latest on these high res images?

Ray Schneider said...

I have heard nothing further about this major event in the imaging of the shroud. I would expect that it was done in anticipation of a major exposition in 2010 which has been announced. I rather think that the image will be used in some capacity at that time.

It is an image with quite a high probability of revealing new information about the shroud if it is closely analyzed with image processing techniques.