Course schedule

Here is the the course schedule. In the leftmost column are links to the lecture videos.  In the second column are links to the lecture slides (as PDF files).  In the third column are links to the applets. In the fourth column are links to the assignments.  The video, applet, and assignment links are also available in the left sidebar.

Readings: "London" and "Peterson" are books worth buying, and are available on Amazon. For London, the 11th edition is assumed. Unfortunately, some material present in the 10th edition was omitted from the 11th edition. This material is designated as "10e" in the schedule.  The other readings are from a course reader I assembled for the Stanford course, but cannot make available to the public due to copyright restrictions. I'm leaving these listings in place, in case you want to track them down on Amazon or a library. See the bottom of this page for complete citations.  

                [This course seems to be popular, causing Google Drive to temporarily refuse to serve some of the lecture videos.
               If you get an error message that says, "Unable to play video at this time" when you click on Play for a lecture,
               you can instead access the video on my YouTube channel:
               Here is a playlist of all 18 lectures, in order
                  If you watch the lectures on YouTube, come back here for the lectures slides, available (as PDF files) on the Course Schedule
                  Also, the videos on this site include some material and sound tracks that are suppressed on YouTube to avoid copyright issues.
               The use of this material in my lectures falls under fair use, but YouTube doesn't have a good mechanism for handling this case.] 

Date Lectures (and links to slides) Readings and applets (Optional) coursework
Week 1:
Mon Mar 21
Image formation
natural & linear perspective, pinholes and lenses,
aperture, shutter, motion blur, depth of field, ISO
London, chapter 2 - camera
Flash applet: Variables that affect exposure

Wed Mar 23
Choosing a camera
History of photography (part 1)
invention of photography, the era of portraits
Extreme photography
London, chapter 13 - history of photography Assignment #1 - bad photos
(due Sunday, March 27, 11:59pm)

How digital cameras work
Week 2:
Mon Mar 28
Optics I: Lenses and apertures
lensmaker's formulae, ray tracing, lenses & perspective transforms, aperture, depth of field formulae
London, chapter 3 - lens,
Hecht, Optics, 5.1-5.2
Flash applets: Thin lens, Gaussian lens formula
Assignment #2 - sports & action
(due Sunday, April 3, 11:59pm)
Wed Mar 30
Optics II: Practical photographic lenses
aberrations & distortion, glare & flare, vignetting, diffraction, lens design, telephoto & zoom lenses
Flash applets: Depth of Field, Telephoto zoom lenses
Week 3:
Mon Apr 4
History of photography (part 2) documenting the world, the beginning of photojournalism
Composing good photographs
London, chapter 12 - seeing photographs, Bryan Peterson, Learning to See Creatively,
Ansel Adams, Making of 40 Photographs
Assignment #3 - macro photography
(due Sunday, April 10, 11:59pm)
Wed Apr 6
Autofocus (AF)
viewfinders, view cameras, tilt-shift lenses, passive vrs active autofocusing, phase vrs contrast detection
Exposure metering (AE)
the dynamic range problem, metering technology
London (10e), chapter 15 - view camera,
London (10e), chapter 16 - the zone system
Goldberg, Dark Side of the Lens, 1.11-1.20
Flash applets: Autofocus using phase detection or contrast detection

Photons, pixels, and bits
Week 4:
Mon Apr 11
Sampling and pixels
resolution and human perception, sampling and aliasing, filtering by convolution, sampling vrs quantization
Moller, Real-Time Rendering, 5.6.1
Flash applet: Spatial convolution
Assignment #4 - architecture/interiors
(due Sunday, April 17, 11:59pm)
Wed Apr 13
Photons and sensors
how digital sensors work, CCD versus CMOS, microlenses and antialiasing, color sensing technologies
London, chapter 4 - exposure and sensors

Week 5:
Mon Apr 18
Night photography & astrophotography
Special effects and trick photography
No assignment this week
Wed Apr 20
Noise and ISO 
sources of noise, SNR, dynamic range, ISO, denoising 
Image stabilization (IS) avoiding camera shake, optical stabilization technologies
Week 6:
Mon Apr 25
History of photography (part 3)
photography as art, genres, Naturalism, Pictorialism
Why is sports photography hard?
(and solutions based on computational photography)
Assignment #5 - still life
(due Sunday, May 1, 11:59pm)
Color and lighting
Week 7:
Mon May 2
Color I: trichromatic theory
color spectra, color sensitivity, color matching, 3D color spaces, additive versus subtractive color mixing
London, chapter 5 - light and color,
Stone, A field guide to digital color, 1
Flash applets: Introduction to color theory, Color matching, Additive versus subtractive color mixing
Assignment #6 - landscape and nature
(due Sunday, May 8, 11:59pm)
Wed May 4
Color II: applications in photography
cylindrical spaces, chromaticity diagrams, color temperature, white balancing, standardized RGB spaces, gamut mapping
Minneart, Light and Color...Outdoors, 11 Flash applets: Chromaticity diagrams, Gamut mapping
Week 8:
Mon May 9
History of photography (part 4)
photography as a tool, technological improvements, industrial and scientific uses, provoking social reform, the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, photographers of the FSA
London, chapter 6 - digital darkroom,
London, chapter 7 - image editing
London, chapter 8 - digital printing,
London, chapter 9 - organizing and storingFlash 
Assignment #7 - night and color
(due Sunday, May 15, 11:59pm)
Week 9:
Mon May 16
Light and reflection 
radiometry & photometry, measures of light, diffuse & specular reflection, BRDFs, Fresnel equations

Reinhard, HDR Imaging, 2.1-2.2,
Dorsey, Modeling...Material Appearance, 3
Assignment #8 - portraiture
(due Sunday, May 22, 11:59pm)
Wed May 18
Photographic lighting 
lighting for portraiture, studio lighting, key & fill, flash photography, flash-noflash & multi-flash
London, chapter 10 - lighting,
Hunter, Light Science and Magic, 7

Image processing
Week 10:
Mon May 23
In-camera image processing 
demosaicing, gamma curves, tone mapping, HDR, denoising and sharpening, compression and file formats
applet: Gamma correction
Week 11:
Wed Jun 1
panoramic cameras, stitching, perspective vrs cylindrical 
History of photography (part 5) 
the modern age, snapshot photojournalism, post-modernism
Flash applet: Cylindrical panoramas

  1. London, Stone, and Upton, Photography (11th edition), Pearson / Prentice Hall, 2011. 10th edition better if you can find it.
  2. Bryan Peterson, Learning to See Creatively, Watson-Guptill, 1988 (or any later edition).
  3. Eugene Hecht, Optics (4th ed.), Pearson / Addison-Wesley, 2002, chapter 5.1-5.2 (pp. 149-171) - geometrical optics.
  4. Tomas Moller et al., Real-Time Rendering (3rd ed.), AK Peters, 2008, Chapter 5.6.1 (pp. 117-124) - sampling and filtering theory.
  5. Norman Goldberg, The Dark Side of the Lens, Academic Press, 1992, sections 1.11-1.20 (pp. 35-50) - autofocus, etc.
  6. Ansel Adams, Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs, Little Brown '83, esp. pp. 40-43, 102-106, 107-111, 162-165.
  7. Maureen Stone, A field guide to digital color, AK Peters, 2003, chapter 1 (pp. 1-19) - color vision.
  8. M.G.J. Minneart, Light and Color in the Outdoors, Springer, 1993, chapter 11 (partial) (p. 259-298) - light and color of the sky.
  9. Reinhard et al., HDR Imaging, Elsevier, 2006, chapter 2.1-2.2 (pp. 19-28) - radiometry & photometry.
  10. Dorsey et al, Digital Modeling of Material Appearance, Elsevier, 2008, chapter 3 (pp. 27-46) - observation and classification.
  11. Hunter and Fuqua, Light Science and Magic (2nd ed.), Focal, 1997, Chapter 7 (partial) (pp. 142-162) - case study of glass.