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Dark flash photography

Dark flash photography

This video was recorded at NIPS Workshops, Whistler 2010. Camera flashes produce intrusive bursts of light that disturb or dazzle. We present a prototype camera and flash that uses infra-red and ultra-violet light mostly outside the visible range to capture pictures in low-light conditions. This "dark" flash is at least two orders of magnitude dimmer than conventional flashes for a comparable exposure. Building on ideas from flash/no-flash photography, we capture a pair of images, one using the dark flash, other using the dim ambient illumination alone. We then exploit the correlations between images recorded at different wavelengths to denoise the ambient image and restore fine details to give a high quality result, even in very weak illumination. The processing techniques can also be used to denoise images captured with conventional cameras.

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