Digital Image Analysis of the Shroud of Turin: An Ongoing Investigation by Raymond J. Schneider (schneirj @ com­ Friday, August 15, 1:30 p.m.–2:00 p.m. 

Since the Shroud of Turin is only available for viewing on long intervals at the pleasure of its custodians and is primarily an object of religious veneration, it is difficult to get new materials for study. However, since 1898 and the original photographic work of Secundo Pia a number of high quality images of the shroud have been collected by Enrie, Miller, Schwortz, Durante and others. More recently high resolution digital scanning of such images has made the ap­plication of digital algorithms feasible even with relatively modest equipment. 

The present work has as its objective the development of a research program to apply comparative analysis to the several images of the shroud that are available. Among the objectives is a program to determine how much information can be extracted not only from the individual images but from comparing the same regions of different images. 

Preliminary work will be presented on study of the banding structures (notably those by the sides of the head) extend­ing both horizontally and vertically in both transmitted and reflected light, on segmentation analysis dividing the image into distinct areas based on properties such as color and texture, and investigating the properties of color transformations between digital color representations and transformations between different images taken under different illumination. 

Initial results of the various investigations will be presented together with a summary describing the structure of the research program as currently envisioned. Presented work will include: 1) color normalization experiments to explore band suppression, 2) false color substitution as part of color segmentation experiments, 3) contouring and contrast enhancement of band structures, 4) convolution filtering to identify scourge marks objectively as part of an analyti­cal study of the scourging. Miscellaneous other results may be presented on studies in earlier stages.

Copyright 2008, Shroud Science Group