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Volume: 17 | Article ID: art00003
Jones and Condit Redux in High Dynamic Range and Color
  DOI :  10.2352/CIC.2009.17.1.art00003  Published OnlineJanuary 2009

In a classic 1931 paper, Jones and Condit measured the luminance range in 130 natural scene “… to determine the perfection with which the tonal characteristics of a given scene can be reproduced by the photographic process”. And while their data served photography well over 70 years, their results in no way represent what we see every day in both dynamic range and color. Yet, today's media are approaching such a standard, and it seems as important as it was then to revisit the Jones and Condit study in this larger context through the auspices of Fairchild's HDR photographic survey that captured and documented over a hundred natural scenes in their fullest range of luminance and color. Analysis of these scenes found contrast ratios or within scene dynamic ranges averaging 3 orders of magnitude approaching 6 orders at the 3 sigma limits of their distribution. By contrast, Jones and Condit found an average of 160:1 with a maximum value of 750:1, certainly less than 3 orders of magnitude in total. Perhaps not surprising, a large proportion of the distribution of color in these scenes were largely confined to in and around the neutral axis, However, a small, but significant portion was found that almost fill the gamut of all possible colors in CIE chromaticity space, certainly well outside the current digital cinema and video standards for color.

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Rodney L. Heckaman, Mark D. Fairchild, "Jones and Condit Redux in High Dynamic Range and Colorin Proc. IS&T 17th Color and Imaging Conf.,  2009,  pp 8 - 14,

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