Unique to this website are the terms P or Positive and N or Negative which are specifically used to describe the Image of the Man of the Shroud captured by black and white photographic film. It is from black and white film that we can appreciate the positive view of the Man of the Shroud who was hidden in the negative image on the cloth of the Man of the Shroud until the first photograph of the Shroud was taken by Secondo Pia in 1898.
In 1898 cameras were large as were the negative plates that captured the negative photo of the object that was being photographed. It was in the darkroom that the negative plate was developed and then the total photographic image on the negative plate was turned back into a positive image by passing light through the negative plate onto photographic paper, thus creating a positive image of the photographed object.
After photographing the Shroud cloth with its image and blood marks, Secondo Pia went back to his darkroom to develop his negative plate. He saw the negative photo of the blood marks, patches, etc. of the shroud but he was surprised that he did not see the negative image of a man that he expected to see on his negative plate. Instead he saw the positive image of a man. He wondered how this could be and then realized that the image of the Man of the Shroud that he just photographed was the negative image of a man. How could a negative image of a man get onto an ancient cloth when photography was only invented in the 19th century? Because of this discovery scientists around the world became interested in studying the Shroud.
The Cataloging & Digitization of Vernon Miller’s Shroud Collection
In 2008 Vernon Miller gave his Shroud collection to Tom D’Muhala. In 2012, the cataloging of Vernon Miller’s entire scientific photographic collection from the 1978 study of the Shroud of Turin was accomplished. This project required the help of many wonderful volunteers. The initial work (done by Tom D’Muhala and Gilbert Lavoie, both of whom have extensively studied the Shroud and were colleagues of Vernon Miller) was to determine the contents of each container of photos so that the photographs could then be organized and placed into a filing system. Once the filing system was complete, digitalization of the photos began (also done by D’Muhala and Lavoie).
In 1978 Vernon Miller used the most professional cameras of that era with the best of lenses. For example, he used a large format camera from National Geographic and his own Hasselblad camera, which produced the highest quality photos available. The technology used to reproduce (digitalize) his original images was also of the highest quality, a Hasselblad Camera (H4D-50 MS). This camera has captured the full dimensions of his original photos.
The project of organizing the data for the website (also done by D’Muhala and Lavoie) was started in 2015. The website was completed in 2019. This website allows anyone to enjoy the experience of seeing the Shroud of Turin in the same way that Vernon Miller saw it through his camera lens. His magnificent extensive collection is now available to the public.