Research digital image

Three prizes were awarded this year for Best Research Image. The 1st prize went to Agnese Abrusci (Department of Physics)  for her striking photograph of multicolor solar cells using dyes as light antenna. The reduced thickness of this photovoltaic technology allows them to be integrated into the glass windows in buildings. The photograph depicts this state of art material in the foreground, and ultimate application in the background. The judges’ commented this was ‘a colourful image that is technically excellent with a good use of depth of field.

2nd prize went to Lindsay Percival  for her eye catching image of the Ordovician trilobite Trinucleus abruptus from the University’s Museum of Natural History. The image was taken for the JISC-funded project GB/3D Fossil Types Online. The aim of the project is to produce a unified web database of all British type specimens held in British collections, with high quality photographs and 3D digital models. Most images will supplement those in existing publications, but in some cases specimens will be photographed for the first time. The Oxford University Museum of Natural History is currently undertaking work to document the 2000 type specimens held in our palaeontology collection.

Traditionally fossils photographed for publication may have included a stereopair (two offset images) to create the perception of 3D depth when optically fused by means of a stereoscope. This project is diverging from tradition and using stereo anaglyphs instead, a more accessible option. The anaglyph images are produced by photographing the specimen in two slightly different attitudes on a tilt board, at an angle of rotation of 8°. The photographs are then processed in Adobe Photoshop; the left eye image is filtered to remove blue and green, and the right eye image is filtered to remove red and green. The resultant photographs are then merged together creating a 3D image when viewed with red-blue glasses.

The 3rd prize in this category went to Ian Cartwright (School of Archaeology) for a technically excellent image with great detail and colour, captured for Professor Helena Hamerow’s research The Origins of Wessex.  The image was part of a traveling poster and artifact display touring around Oxfordshire Museums. The Ashmolean will host the display later in 2012.

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