iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Digital hemispherical photography for estimating forest canopy properties: current controversies and opportunities

F Chianucci (1)   , A Cutini (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 5, Issue 6, Pages 290-295 (2012)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0775-005
Published: Dec 17, 2012 - Copyright © 2012 SISEF

Review Papers

Hemispherical photography has been used since the 1960s in forest ecology. Nevertheless, specific constraints related to film cameras have progressively prevented widespread adoption of this photographic method. Advances in digital photographic technology hold great promise to overcome the major drawbacks of hemispherical photography, particularly regarding field techniques and image processing aspects. This contribution is aimed to: (i) provide a basic foreground of digital hemispherical photography; (ii) illustrate the major strengths and weakness of the method; (iii) provide an reliable protocol for image acquisition and analysis, to get the most out of using hemispherical photography for canopy properties extraction.


Digital Hemispherical Photography, Fisheye Lens, Leaf Area Index, Radiative Transfer, Foliage Clumping

Authors’ address

F Chianucci
Consiglio per la Ricerca e la Sperimentazione in Agricoltura - Centro di Ricerca per la Selvicoltura, v. S. Margherita 80, I-52100 Arezzo (Italy)
A Cutini
Department for Innovation in Biological, Agro-Food, and Forestry systems, University of Tuscia, v. San Camillo de Lellis, I-01100 Viterbo (Italy)

Corresponding author


Chianucci F, Cutini A (2012). Digital hemispherical photography for estimating forest canopy properties: current controversies and opportunities. iForest 5: 290-295. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0775-005

Academic Editor

Roberto Tognetti

Paper history

Received: Sep 13, 2012
Accepted: Nov 13, 2012

First online: Dec 17, 2012
Publication Date: Dec 28, 2012
Publication Time: 1.13 months

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