I participate in a weekly imaging discussion group and recently we watched a very interesting video lecture on ‘accidental pinhole cameras’ by a researcher called Anotonio Torralba, who wrote a really good paper on statistics of natural images here. I think lots of the figures in that paper could pass for modern art, particularly some of the scenes from figure 1.
The talk, however, discussed the phenomena of cameras being produced all around us and details some of what we may not consider when we look at a picture or process an image. It’s a pretty interesting data mining exercise, and while it’s practical application was certainly a point of discussion (I think if one had a very good model of how the light scatters around a pinspeck and knew lots about the surface onto which it scatters it might be useful for geoscience) the novelty of the whole thing is great!
He’s a very good speaker too, you can watch the video talk yourself here.