Is there a term for photography that creates an image with additional detail coming from multiple "exposures" (e.g., images) of the same scene?

I'm aiming for what is essentially a subset of computational photography that fuses "information" from multiple images into a single image, and every region's information about a scene equals or exceeds the information from the same region of any one other image used to create it.

Such a term would need to encompass focus stacking, HDR, and super resolution, but specifically exclude techniques that essentially clone other regions of the same scene.


If you're looking for a grouping term, I don't think there is one that's used widespread or consistently, but personally I sometimes use stacking to cover these types of techniques.

I just wish there were a term that could also include panorama stitching, since the main logic behind nearly all of these types of algorithms is similar--vary one specific factor of interest (focus point, exposure, pixel placement, scene coverage, noise, etc.) among a group of member images to combine and create an enhanced single final image.

  • Agree; image stacking or just stacking really covers all these techniques. The difference between them is the function used to combine the individual images. – Caleb Apr 11 '16 at 14:50
  • As it happens, "stacking" is the term my wife and I were using colloquially. The description of epsilon photography includes stitching as well as the stacking-like techniques I asked about. – lionel Apr 11 '16 at 17:18
  • @lionel Works for me! I upvoted your answer, although epsilon seems a funny choice over to me. :) – inkista Apr 11 '16 at 18:04

EDIT: Originally I misread your question to only mean increase in resolution. I do not know of any term that encompasses that an HDR but these two cover quite a bit:

  • Super-Resolution, although it covers multiple techniques. This term has been used by camera manufacturers to describe techniques where they create a higher-resolution or increase color-depth by taking multiple shifted exposures.

  • Exposure Fusion is probably the closest term to what you are looking for. The technique was originally developed to produce images with increased dynamic-range by combining the best exposed pixels in each image without producing an HDR intermediate and tone-mapping. The technique however was later adapted to perform focus stacking too by using sharpness as a weighting. This article covers part of the topic.

  • By what reasoning does Super-Resolution encompass the other techniques mentioned in the question? The Wikipedia article you reference doesn't mention HDR or focus stacking. Neither have I found any research yet that calls the combination "Super-Resolution". – lionel Apr 6 '16 at 22:46
  • @lionel - Somehow misread the question, sorry. Hopefully now it fits better. Thank you for letting me know. – Itai Apr 7 '16 at 1:09
  • "Exposure Fusion" is an interesting term, but based on the source you cite, I would suppose it doesn't encompass Super Resolution. It also reads more like a specific technique rather than a category of techniques that increase an image's "information" content. – lionel Apr 11 '16 at 14:23
  • @lionel - Yes, Super-Resolution is separate. Exposure Fusion is basically stacking with an algorithm to select pixels from each image and blend them, so you won't get more resolution from either term. – Itai Apr 11 '16 at 16:45

I found what I believe is the answer I was looking for, which is "epsilon photography".

Quoting from Wikipedia:

Epsilon photography is a form of computational photography wherein multiple images are captured with slightly varying camera parameters (each image varying the parameter by a small amount ε, hence the name) such as aperture, exposure, focus, film speed and viewpoint for the purpose of enhanced post-capture flexibility.

I'm not sure how widespread its present usage is, but based on previous answers, it is the only term that solidly hits the mark. Increasing the "information" in an image (as in the original question) leads to what the article calls "post-capture flexibility".

Comments or improvements to this answer are welcome.

  • Never heard that phrase. With questions related to computer vision you are likely better off over at Signal Processing. – null Apr 11 '16 at 15:15
  • @null This is definitely not meant as a machine vision question. My original purpose in asking was to find a term that can be used when multiple techniques are applied to creating an image for the post-capture phase of a photographic workflow, before beginning to make any adjustments (cropping, color, etc.). – lionel Apr 11 '16 at 17:09

I don't think that there's a specific term for that in photography.

A term to describe the idea of combining information of many images into one in general could be superposition.

  • Can you describe how "superposition" fits the question? – lionel Apr 11 '16 at 14:13

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