To call former Eastman Kodak scientist Bryce Bayer an inventor would be an understatement. Bryce’s work at Kodak went beyond inventing and entered the realm of major influence. It was his color filter, developed in 1976, that ushered in the start of the digital photography era. Sadly, Mr. Bayer passed away on November 13 at the age of 83. Bayer was living in Bath, Maine at the time of his death.
Using a mosaic of red, green, and blue filters, Bayer was able to create full color images that mimicked what the human eye witnessed.
According to Engadget:
“The design imitates the way the human eye perceives color, with twice as much green as red or blue, and the resulting output is then interpreted with “demosaicing” algorithms to produce an accurate, RGB image.”
Bayer not only worked on the digital photography color filter; he also won acclaim for developing storage, enhancement, and printing protocols for digital photography.
The Bayer filter, patented in 1975, is now used in almost every single digital camera and smartphone camera available on the market. Speaking of Bayer’s achievement, Dr. Terry Taber, Kodak’s chief technology officer, said during a 2009 speech for Bayer’s recipient for the Royal Photographic Society’s Progress Award:
“The elegant color technology invented by Bryce Bayer is behind nearly every digital image captured today.”
Bayer may have retired from Kodak in the mid-1990s, but his filter lives on, allowing a single sensor to capture beautiful color images that mimic the vibrant way we see things on a daily basis.