CS 178 - Digital Photography (Spring 2014)

What's inside a digital camera? This is a cutaway view of the Canon Digital Rebel 1000D. Here's a more instructive diagram, showing the main optical paths. We'll take apart a camera in class. Most photography books talk about depth of field and depth of focus, but few of them give a formula for it. Here it is. N is the F-number, f is focal length, C is pixel size, and U is distance to the scene. We'll study this formula in class, and you'll be asked to experiment with depth of field effects in your weekly photographic assignments. This is a tough shot, because the arcade ceiling is much darker than the courtyard beyond. I solved it by combining three exposures, an idea called "high dynamic range" imaging. You don't need a special camera for this; we'll try it in class. Here are more shots from India. Dorothea Lange's iconic portrait of a migrant mother during the Great Depression. We'll survey the history of photography and study the work of good photographers.

Note: This course is not a MOOC, and is not available through the Internet. Enrollment is limited to matriculated on-campus Stanford students.
However, this course was given again at Google in Spring of 2016. Those lectures were recorded and edited for free public distribution. Here is a link.
Or here is a YouTube playlist of the lectures. Importantly, the Adobe Flash applets in this 2014 version no longer work, but the applets in the 2016 version
have been updated to allow direct download of the .swf files, so that you can play them on your desktop with a standalone Flash player downloadable from Adobe.

Course materials

© 2014 Marc Levoy
Last update: April 23, 2021 12:13:55 AM