Anticipating the Conference: Daniel Spicer & Edward Toton with an Image Hypothesis

June 7, 2014 Leave a comment

Daniel Spicer & Edward Toton |  10-Oct-2014  |  3:30-4:00 pm


Among the most problematic features of the image on the Shroud of Turin is the fact that the unknown process of image formation is confined to the outermost fibers of the linen cloth, with no discernible alteration within the inner volume of the cloth, and that the image contains vertical displacement information, by which a three-dimensional reconstruction of the crucified body is possible. We recognize two important facts: 1) the Shroud linen is a dielectric material – i.e., the constitutive molecules in its fibers are polar molecules that tend to align themselves in an enveloping electric field that leads to the revealing of surface charges on the outermost layers of the surface fibers, and 2) the human body, being composed of approximately 70% water by weight, is an electrical conductor – i.e., when immersed in an electric field, charged ions within the body will distribute themselves toward the outer surfaces of the body to ensure that no net electric field remains within the body. We advance the hypothesis that a constant, or slowly varying electric field was present in the tomb and that the two stated facts provide the underlying mechanism for formation of an image with vertical displacement information . . .

Click on the title to read the full abstract. Click here for the conference home page.


Categories: Uncategorized

The Shroud in Nebraska

June 6, 2014 Leave a comment

The shroud is getting everywhere that it needs to get. So it seems.

imageThe Yankton Press and Dakotan in South Dakota is reporting that in Menominee, just a hop, skip and a jump across the Missouri River in Nebraska . . .

. . . In celebration of its 15th anniversary, Spirit Catholic Radio is bringing a traveling exhibit, titled “The Man of the Shroud,” to nine different cities across Nebraska, including Menominee, during June and July.

The free exhibit will be on display July 15-20 at St. Boniface Parish in Menominee. For times, visit

imageThe Shroud of Turin has long been venerated by the faithful and is believe by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth.

The exhibit will be on display at various parishes and Catholic high schools in cooperation with local Knights of Columbus councils.

The traveling exhibit, developed by the late Msgr. Guilio Ricci, president of the Roman Center for the Study of the Holy Shroud at the Vatican, includes as the centerpiece a full-length photographic image of the Shroud made by the Eastman Kodak Co. . . .

The shroud is getting everywhere that it needs to get. So it seems.

Categories: Event, Press Coverage

Anticipating the Conference: Russ Breault’s Theological Concepts

June 6, 2014 Leave a comment

Russ Breault  |  11-Oct-2014  | 8:00-8:30 am


As a lifelong researcher and lecturer on the Shroud of Turin, I have given much thought to the meaning and message of this most famous of all religious artifacts.  I have identified SEVEN theological/apologetic ideas that attest to the Shroud’s almost certain authenticity.

The SEVEN theological concepts are as follows:

  1. Maybe the Mystery IS the Message . . .
  2. When is a Scorch NOT a Scorch?  . . .
  3. The Witness  . . .
  4. Words Matter. . . 
  5. The Significance of Linen . . . 
  6. The Mystery of Transformation . . .  
  7. The Face . . .

Click on the title to read the expanded list of concepts. Click here for the conference home page.

Categories: St Louis 2014, Theology

Good 3D from a conventional photograph

June 5, 2014 11 comments

We can probably discard the conventional claim that a 3D plot
cannot be produced from a conventional photograph.

imageThe thumbnail pictures to the right are four examples of death masks from a PowerPoint presentation put together by Joseph Accetta, which may give us a preview of his upcoming presentation in St. Louis. He tells us:

Shadowing is apparent in all of these images except perhaps the leftmost one. None of the other images would render a 3-d reproduction with a vp-8 or similar instrument.

imageImageJ is in agreement. The first of four photographs plots very nicely. We get good 3D from a conventional photograph. The other three, not so good.

Click on the photograph to enlarge it

How did I find all this? Colin Berry found it. He commented in Anticipating the Conference: Joseph Accetta on 14th Century Origins:

Try downloading this PowerPoint presentation from Joseph Accetta, David (he being the subject of a recent posting here, and one of STURP’s genuinely scientific, non-agenda driven, non grandstanding participants in my view).

(Unzip as if a pdf).

Go to the last few pages (approx 24/25). There you will see model spectroscopic (ir) studies not just with thermally-imprinted scorches, but also with linen that has been chemically dehydrated with 36% H2SO4 and even your invisible ink (lemon juice).

I’d be the first to admit there may be little to distinguish between an image produced by chemical as distinct from thermal dehydration (especially if chemical action was heat-assisted – see Luigi Garlaschelli’s model ‘frottage’ imprinting with acid-contaminated red iron oxide). It’s the vehicle for acid that is important (not too runny, not too viscous).

Some of us eagerly await details of what JA will say at St.Louis. Let’s hope it receives more attention than his meticulous and detailed studies to date.

Nuff said. I’m thinking of doing a post dedicated entirely to JA (he being my kind of scientist).

Nice find, Colin!

Everyman’s VP8

June 5, 2014 13 comments

imageA reader writes:

Thank you for the update on ImageJ, the everyman’s VP8. The more I fool with it using everything from Enrie to Haltadefinizione images the more I clearly see that the images on the SOT are, by some measure of understanding, three-dimensional data. I cannot say that I’m convinced, as most shroud researchers seem to be, that the data represents body-cloth spatiality. In fact, I doubt it. It could be three-dimensional for many reasons.

It is not 1978 anymore. It is time to move on. We now have better images on the internet and better tools that are freely available to anyone in the world.  ImageJ does everything the VP8 does only faster, with more precision and with many more analytical options. Significantly, all data and settings can be automatically documented, shared and reproduced, which is something sorely lacking in the work done by Petrus Soons and Ray Downing. 

I have attached an interesting straight on view from a Durante picture using a magenta and yellow LUT to better see the effects of lighting from the left and above. Notice how sharp the eyebrows and lower cheekbones seem to be.


Categories: Image Theory, Science, Tools

Anticipating the Conference: Emanuela Marinelli on Iconography

June 5, 2014 Leave a comment

Emanuela Marinelli  |  11-Oct-2014   |  7:15-7:45 pm


The similarity between the Shroud face and most of the depictions of Christ known in art, both Eastern and Western, is clear and cannot be attributed to pure chance; it must be the result of a dependency, mediated or immediate, of an image from the other and of all from a common source. We can identify several elements on the Shroud that are not regular, hardly attributable to the imagination of the artists, that make us understand how the ancient representations of Christ’s face depend on the venerated relic. . . . After the victory of Christianity, sanctioned by Constantine in 313 with the Edict of Milan, a new image of the face of Jesus began to spread, which is characterized by not too long beard, mustache, narrow, tall and stately face, with long hair, falling on his shoulders, and sometimes with a middle line that divides them.

Click on the title to read the full abstract. Click here for the conference home page.

Categories: St Louis 2014

Update on ImageJ for 3D Image Analysis of the Shroud of Turin

June 4, 2014 Leave a comment

imageImageJ, your own VP-8-like image analyzer, is now easier to install and use except that you are going to have to get used to calling it Fiji. Fiji nonsensically stands for Fiji is Just ImageJ. Fiji is a packaging improvement. It is easier to install – just download a zip file, unzip it, and start it. And useful plugins are built right in.

ImageJ, is written in Java, which means you can run it on just about anything. This very powerful but easy to use graphics program was developed at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland and is in the public domain. Downloadable distributions are available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

I downloaded the latest version from, unzipped it, and had it up and running in less than ten minutes. 1) I launched the program using the provided program, 2) clicked on open a file, 3) selected an image of the face from the Shroud that I had saved to my computer, 4) clicked on Analyze > 3D Surface Plot and 5) tweaked some settings (see the image below – smoothing is essential).

It is highly interactive and re-plots 3D views almost instantaneously when you change a setting. You can drag the image right, left, up and down to change the viewing angle. It works with many image formats and, to my amazement, worked well with color and b&w images as large as 3072 by 2304 pixels and as small as 150 by 112.

Others including Colin Berry and Hugh Farey on this blog have used ImageJ effectively.  See: It’s a negative. It’s 3D. Yes? Maybe? Sort Of? and Should we be reassessing the VP-8 results (Continues Previous Post)




Categories: Image Theory, Tools

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