Course schedule

CS 178 - Digital Photography
Spring Quarter, 2009
Marc Levoy
Handout #2

Here is the current version of the course schedule. It is also available online at, and will be continuously updated as changes are made. In particular, lecture titles and assignment names will become clickable shortly after a lecture is given or an assignment made. Readings should be completed before the date on which they appear in the schedule, except for the first week. "London" and "Peterson" refer to your textbooks; "http" readings are online; all other readings are from your course reader.

Date Lecture Reading Coursework
Tue Mar 31 Image formation (part 1)
natural & linear perspective, pinholes and lenses
Choosing a camera
London, chapter 2 - camera Fill out survey #2 for Photoshop,
camera, & section (by Wed 11:59pm)
Thu Apr 2 Image formation (part 2)
aperture, shutter, motion blur, depth of field, ISO
History of photography (part 1)
invention of photography, daguerreotypes, the age of portraits
Extreme & computational photography
London, chapter 18 - history of photography Assignment #1 - bad photos
(due Sunday, April 5, 11:59pm)
How digital cameras work
Tue Apr 7 Optics I: Lenses and apertures
lensmaker's formulae, ray tracing, lenses & perspective transforms (applet), aperture, depth of field formulae (applet)
London, chapter 3 - lens,
Hecht, Optics, 5.1-5.2
Assignment #2 - Sports & Action
(due Sunday, April 12, 11:59pm)
Thu Apr 9 Optics II: Practical photographic lenses
aberrations, sharpness and MTFs, lens design, telephoto & zoom lenses (applet), view cameras, Scheimpflug focusing
London, chapter 15 - view camera
Tue Apr 14 Sampling and pixels
display and printing, human perception, sampling and reconstruction, aliasing, prefiltering, and postfiltering
London, chapter 4 - exposure and sensors,,
Assignment #3 - macro photography
(due Sunday, April 19, 11:59pm)
Thu Apr 16 Photons and sensors
how digital sensors work, CCD versus CMOS, microlenses and antialiasing, color sensing technologies
Moller, Real-Time Rendering, 5.6.1
Automated camera subsystems
Tue Apr 21 Autofocus (AF)
passive vrs active autofocusing, phase vrs contrast detection
Light field photography
Goldberg, Dark Side of the Lens, 1.11-1.20 Assignment #4 - architecture/interiors
(due Sunday, April 26, 11:59pm)
Thu Apr 23 Image stabilization (IS)
avoiding camera shake, optical stabilization technologies
Deconvolution and deblurring
History of photography (part 2)
documenting the world, the beginning of photojournalism
Tue Apr 28 Noise and ISO
sources of noise, SNR, dynamic range, ISO, denoising
Night photography & astrophotography no weekly assignment,
study for your midterm
Thu Apr 30 Exposure metering (AE)
the dynamic range problem, gamma and quantization, metering technology and modes, HDR imaging
London, chapter 16 - the zone system
Mon May 4 Midterm exam, 7-9pm, TCSEQ 200
Tue May 5 Take apart a camera !!
Animation of assembling a Canon 10D camera (Matthew Farrell, Michelle Pang, Michael Tom, UC Berkeley)
London, chapter 17 - seeing photographs Assignment #5 - still life
(due Sunday, May 10, 11:59pm)
Thu May 7 History of photography (part 3)
photography as art, genres, Naturalism, Pictorialism
Composing good photographs
Bryan Peterson, Learning to See Creatively,
Ansel Adams, Making of 40 Photographs
Color and lighting
Tue May 12 Color I: trichromatic theory
color spectra, color sensitivity, color matching, 3D color spaces, additive versus subtractive color mixing
London, chapter 7 - color,
Stone, A field guide to digital color, 1
Assignment #6 - landscape and nature
(due Sunday, May 17, 11:59pm)
Thu May 14 Color II: applications in photography
cylindrical spaces, chromaticity diagrams, color temperature, white balancing, standardized RGB spaces, gamut mapping
Minneart, Light and Color...Outdoors, 11
Tue May 19 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 #7 - night and color
(due Sunday, May 24, 11:59pm)
Thu May 21 Photographic lighting
lighting for portraiture, studio lighting, key & fill, flash photography, flash-noflash & multi-flash
London, chapter 13 - lighting,
Hunter, Light Science and Magic, 7
Image processing
Tue May 26 History of photography (part 4)
technological improvements, the industrial age, scientific uses of photography, documenting society, the Great Depression
London, chapter 8 - digital darkroom Assignment #8 - portraiture
(due Wednesday, June 3, 11:59pm)
Thu May 28 In-camera image processing
demosaicing, tone mapping (including HDR), denoising and sharpening, compression and file formats
London, chapter 9 - image editing
Tue June 2 Panoramas
panoramic cameras, stitching, perspective vrs cylindrical
History of photography (part 5)
the modern age, snapshot photojournalism, post-modernism
London, chapter 10 - digital printing,
London, chapter 11 - organizing and storing
no weekly assignment,
study for your final
Thu June 4 (no lecture)
Tue June 9 Final exam, 7-10pm, TCSEQ 200
Copyright © 2009 Marc Levoy
Last update: June 2, 2009 11:41:25 PM