Dual Photography


Pradeep Sen

Stanford University

Billy Chen

Stanford University

Gaurav Garg

Stanford University

Stephen R. Marschner

Cornell University

Mark Horowitz

Stanford University

Marc Levoy

Stanford University

Hendrik P. A. Lensch

Stanford University


To Appear in the Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 2005




We present a novel photographic technique called dual photography, which exploits Helmholtz reciprocity to interchange the lights and cameras in a scene. With a video projector providing structured illumination, reciprocity permits us to generate pictures from the viewpoint of the projector, even though no camera was present at that location. The technique is completely image-based, requiring no knowledge of scene geometry or surface properties, and by its nature automatically includes all transport paths, including shadows, interreflections and caustics. In its simplest form, the technique can be used to take photographs without a camera; we demonstrate this by capturing a photograph using a projector and a photo-resistor. If the photo-resistor is replaced by a camera, we can produce a 4D dataset that allows for relighting with 2D incident illumination. Using an array of cameras we can produce a 6D slice of the 8D reflectance field that allows for relighting with arbitrary light fields. Since an array of cameras can operate in parallel without interference, whereas an array of light sources cannot, dual photography is fundamentally a more efficient way to capture such a 6D dataset than a system based on multiple projectors and one camera. As an example, we show how dual photography can be used to capture and relight scenes.



(a) Conventional photograph of a scene, illuminated by a projector with all its pixels turned on. (b) After measuring the light transport between the projector and the camera using structured illumination, our technique is able to synthesize a photorealistic image from the point of view of the projector. This image has the resolution of the projector and is illuminated by a light source at the position of the camera. The technique can capture subtle illumination effects such as caustics and self-shadowing. Note, for example, how the glass bottle in the primal image (a) appears as the caustic in the dual image (b) and vice-versa. Because we have determined the complete light transport between the projector and camera, it is easy to relight the dual image using a synthetic light source (c) or a light modified by a matte captured later by the same camera (d).


Adobe Acrobat PDF (19 MB)


Video (viewable with QuickTime)

Supplemental Video (63MB)