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Professor Martin Richardson

Job: Professor of Modern Holography

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Research group(s): The Holographic Research Group

Address: De Montfort University, Clephan Building 0.38, Leicester, LE1 9BH, United Kingdom

T: 0116 255 1551 ex 8678




Personal profile

Martin Richardson gained the worlds first PhD in display holography from The Royal College of Art in 1988. In 1999 he was awarded the Millennium Fellowship by the UK Millennium Government Commission and in 2002 was awarded the prestigious Shearwater Foundation Award for Achievements in Holographic Art. He is currently Professor of Modern Holography at De Montfort University, Leicester, where he leads the Holographic Research Centre. In 2009 he achieved Associate Membership to the RPS and in 2009 was awarded the ‘Saxby’ medal for his contributions to 3-D imaging. He is a visiting Professor at the Kun-Shan University in the Graduate School of Visual Communication Design, Taiwan and is the Senior External Examiner at Newcastle College, Leeds Metropolitan University. Since 2004 he has been Chair of Holographic Art to the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) in the USA.

Martin is regarded as an imaging pioneer. He has made holograms of many famous people, including film directors Martin Scorsese and Alan Parker as well as the fine artist Sir Peter Blake and writer Will Self to name but a few. His work with rock star David Bowie, for a project using 3-D promotional material for the album ‘hours’, is well known and all of which has been documented in his first published book ‘Spacebomb: Holograms and Lenticular 1984 – 2004’. His second authored book, ‘The Prime Illusion: Modern Holography In The New Age Of Digital Media’ provides a theory that future design processes will need methods of three-dimensional print, requiring timeliness of response, flexibility and access to digital holograms on demand. These characteristics imply a geographically distributed and collaborative form of information dissemination activity and the exchange of collaborative ideas presently tacking place within the digital convergence. ‘The Prime Illusion’ was published in 2007 and in 2009 translated and published by the Beijing University Communication Press, China. His holograms of people are exhibited around the world and can be seen in two National collections including The National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, Bradford and The National Science Museum, London. He is a regular contributor to imaging periodicals and peer reviewed conference proceedings both nationally and internationally. Martins latest book ‘3-D Capture for Display Technologies Including Television & Cinematography’ was commissioned by IGI Publishing, USA, and will be available in February 2012.

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Key research outputs

See a video on the current research being undertaken.

Research interests/expertise

Art & Technology, Modern Optics, Holograms

Honours and awards

The Royal Photographic Societies ‘Saxby Medal 2009’, in recognition for achievements and contributions to the advancement of holographic imaging. An award for achievement in the field of three-dimensional imaging, endowed by Graham Saxby Hon FRPS, The Royal Photographic International Awards are offered through peer review annually to individuals who have made significant contributions to the art and science of photography.

Millennium Fellowship Award - UK Government

Membership of external committees

The Royal Photographic Society Holography Committee Group. 1990 – current.

Membership of professional associations and societies

Associate Member of The Royal Photographic Society (ARPS)

Forthcoming events

3-D Cinematography & Video Course. Three courses are operated every year for the film industry together with our commercial partners PANASONIC.

Recent research outputs

Research journals:

  • Richardson. M & Wiltshire. J. “HOLOGRAPHIC SECURITY THREAD AND MICRO EMBOSSING TECHNIQUES AS APPLIED TO POLYESTER FIBRE: A Method for Embossing an Efficient Diffractive Microstructure into the Surface of Non-Planar Material”. Royal Photographic Society Journal of Imaging Science. Publication No.2 edition 2011.

 Non-research publications:

  • Richardson, M. “Digital Holograms; Entering The Fifth Dimension”, MONTAGE – Journal of The Picture Research Association. Front cover illustration. Article pages 16-17. Issue 123, Autumn 2010.  

Conference papers.

  • Smith. S, Harvey. K, Richardson. M, Blyth. J,"Optimizing Diffraction efficiency for reflection holograms with HARMAN holographic emulsions while maintaining narrow-band reconstruction", Practical Holography XXV, SPIE proceedings 7957, 2011.
  • Smith. S, Harvey. K, Richardson. M, Blyth. J,"Optimizing Diffraction efficiency for transmission holograms with HARMAN holographic emulsions while maintaining narrow-band reconstruction", Practical Holography XXV, SPIE proceedings 7957, 2011.
  • Oliveira. S and Richardson. M. “Artistic Expression in the Development of New Technology for Three Dimensional Imaging”, Practical Holography XXV, SPIE proceedings 7957, 2011.
  • Azevedo. I and Richardson, M, “Changing Thoughts: A Series Of Digital Art Holograms”. ARCA-EUAC, University School of Arts of Coimbra, Portugal, Research Institute for Design, Media and Culture. Practical Holography XXV, SPIE proceedings 7957, 2011.
  • Oliveira, S. Richardson, M. “Real Time 3-D Video Capture Applied to Fine Art Practice”. International Conference Cinema, Art, Technology, Communication Support, Formats and New “Media”.  

Authored Book Publications

Consultancy work

Production and design of the Holographic Table. Short courses in 3-D for industrial partners. Panasonic has contributed a significant amount of 3-D equipment.

Internally funded research project information

RIF. Awarded first round funding for ‘IC3D2 - Integrated Capture & 3D Display v 2’Valued £11,870. A collaborative pilot project cross faculty development of an integrated auto-stereoscopic capture & display system. This was the catalyst to consolidate key strands of research collaboration between the two groups that will make a significant contribution to the research.

Published patents

Smith. S, Richardson. M, Brown. S, United Kingdom Patent Application 0912696.2. ‘Multi-Spectral Holographic Security Marker, Method for its Manufacture and Holographic Security System.

Professional esteem indicators

Peer Review Panel

The Optical Society of America,
2010 Massachusetts Ave.,
NW Washington,
DC 20036,

Tel: +1.202.416.1914,
Fax: +1.202.416.6129

Editorial Board of 3D Research

3D Display Research Centre (3DRC),
3D Fusion Industry Consortium (3DFIC),
447-1 Wolgye-Dong,
Seoul 139-701,

Tel: +82-2-940-5118,
: +82-2-940-5523

Case studies

TSB KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership’s) two successfully completed, the second of which was nominated for the prestigious Lord Stafford Award and was short-listed in the category of “Innovation Achieved”.

Documentary about the 'Crystal Skull'. Martin Richardson recorded a hologram of a Crystal Skull for a National Geographic film. Broadcast October 2011. ZigZag Productions/National Geographic have granted De Montfort University a non-exclusive perpetual world-wide license that allows De Montfort to use the final cut footage relating to Martin's work for the purposes of student recruitment, teaching, research and promotion of the University generally.

Exhibition. “Luminous Windows” 01.11.10 – 01.02.11. An exhibition of digital holograms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Holography and Spatial Imaging and Emerging Technologies Initiatives. MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

2009 ‘Time, Space & Movement’, Peterborough Digital Arts, Arts Council of Great Britain. Touring show

2010 ‘Dimensioned’, The Jonathan Ross 241 Gallery, London

2009 ‘Ingenious Media’, Ingenious Media Offices, London

2010 ‘The Haunted Image’, Phoenix White Cube Gallery, Leicester

2012 ‘Imaginations’, YOTA Space held in St Petersburg, Russia