Using Super Seeing To See Photosynthesis
Written by David Conrad   
Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Super seeing is a technique that enhances video so that you can see things that are present in the video but too small to be noticed by the human eye. In this application the super seeing algorithm is turned on the humble green leaf and guess what - we can see photosynthesis.

We have covered Eulerian video magnification before in other contexts. Essentially it can magnify motion and or color changes. In this case the idea is to magnify color changes in a leaf.

When photosynthesis occurs the chlorophyll absorbs a photon and either re-emits it again or passes it to another chlorophyll molecule to split carbon dioxide. The re-emission simply causes heat and nothing useful. Biologists study photosynthesis using a fluorescence technique but Islam A.T.F, Taj-Eddin, Mahmoud Afifi, Mostafa Korashy, Ali H. Ahmed, Ng Yoke Cheng,  Evelyng Hernandez and Salma M. Abdel-latif from Assiut University (Egypt), York University (Canada), University of London (Singapore) and San Francisco State University (USA) think that the same job can be done using standard video cameras and some computational photography.

The main contribution of this work is to visualize, without using special purpose instruments, the tiny changes of colors on the green leaf of the plant. The tiny changes in color observed are the by-product of the excited state process (i.e., photochemical quenching, non-photochemical quenching and fluorescence imitation). Chlorophyll fluorescence imaging is a useful non-destructive method to monitor the health status of plants. It shows how the color changes of live plants differ from the small changes of inanimate objects.

 You can see how they did it and the results in the following video:


 Source: Can We See Photosynthesis?

For once we have a potential use for a super seeing system rather than just amazement at what we see:

The applications of the proposed system are intriguing. This work opens the door for further research into come up with the range of the frequencies of the color changes of healthy and diseased plants to get a robust and telling relationship between the pattern of color changes and the health status of plants. One of the promising application of that is to develop a system which can be used to monitor health status of plants based on their color changes.



More Information

Can We See Photosynthesis? Magnifying the Tiny Color Changes of Plant Green Leaves Using Eulerian Video Magnification

Related Articles

Super Resolution

Computational Photography Shows Hi-Res Mars

Seeing Buildings Shake With Software

See Invisible Motion, Hear Silent Sounds Cool? Creepy?

Extracting Audio By Watching A Potato Chip Packet

Imaging The Pulse

Computer Model Explains High Blood Pressure

Super Seeing Software Ready To Download       

Super Seeing - Eulerian Magnification       


To be informed about new articles on I Programmer, sign up for our weekly newsletter, subscribe to the RSS feed and follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin.



Explore SyncFusion's Blazor Playground

Syncfusion has provided an in-browser environment where you can write, compile and run code that uses Blazor components and get it previewed live.

The WinterJS Javascript Runtime Is Asking For Your Attention

WinterJS is a brand new Javascript runtime by Wasmer which comes with the claim that it's the fastest of them all. Let's find out if that holds true.

More News

raspberry pi books



or email your comment to:



Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 June 2017 )