Practical Holography: 4th Edition (Paperback) book cover

Practical Holography

4th Edition

By Graham Saxby, Stanislovas Zacharovas

CRC Press

642 pages | 473 B/W Illus.

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Continuing in the steps of its predecessors, the fourth edition of Practical Holography provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date resource available. Focused on practical techniques in holography at all levels, it avoids any unnecessary mathematical theory.

Features of the Fourth Edition

  • Highlights new information on color holograms, sensitive materials, and state-of-the-art processing techniques
  • Includes new chapters and revisions integrating information on digital holography
  • Adds a new appendix on the methods of non-holographic 3D imaging
  • Restores and updates the glossary of terms
  • Outlines a timeline for holography, from the beginnings of understanding the wave model for light up to the present day

After nearly 12 years since the previous edition, this book is a vital manual and reference for holography professionals and enthusiasts. It is designed for the scientist, technologist, artist, and serious hobbyist alike, covering every aspect of the field from basic set-up to use of available instruments.


"This is the most comprehensive book on holography, now brought up to date. Holographers of every level will find this book useful, from those who make simple holograms at home, all the way to those working on advanced holographic systems."

—Emanuel Istrate, University of Toronto

"…the one-stop book for holography."

—Professor Hiroshi Yoshikawa, Nihon University

"This edition has been updated with the latest on amplitude and digital color holography, including up-to-date lasers, recording materials, and holographic applications. The book is recommended to beginners as well as to the experienced holographer."

—Professor Hans I. Bjelkhagen

"There are few books on this exciting subject that offer a wide scope of interest for the newcomer, artist, and scientific expert, but Graham with Stanislovas have achieved this with their new edition to a classic technical book. The chapter revisions and updates are very relevant to today’s technology and will provide an unparalleled guide for the hands-on practical holographer."

—Dr. Paul Dunn, OpSec Security Ltd

"This book is a welcome new edition updating the progression of digital holography with an in-depth examination of the holographic medium. It has appeal to both industrial specialists and students interested in the future of three-dimensional imaging and the advance of holography as a recording medium."

—Professor Martin J. Richardson, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

"I’m delighted to see that a new edition will be available to benefit both beginning holographers and long-time users who want the most up-to-date reference."

—V. Michael Bove, Jr., MIT Media Lab

"The text is filled with drawings, pictures, and other visual supports. The reference listings are extensive, and a good glossary is also included. This is the kind of book that will be used often and will be especially useful for student projects. It belongs in all college libraries."

Choice (Nov 2016)

Table of Contents


What Is a Hologram?


Defining the Goal

Goal Achieved


Experiment with Interference Fringes


Amplitude and Phase Gratings

Brief History of Holography


Light Sources for Holography

Light as an Electromagnetic Phenomenon

Propagation of Electromagnetic Waves


Properties of Light Beams

Atoms and Energy

Stimulated Emission

Three-Level Solid-State (Ruby) Laser

Ruby Pulse Laser

Four-Level Solid-State Laser

Four-Level Solid-State Lasing Media


Frequency Doubling and Tripling

Construction of Nd:YAG (Nd:YLF)/Nd:Phosphate Glass Pulse Laser

Four-Level Gas Lasers

Mirrors and Windows in CW Lasers

Helium-Neon Laser

Laser Beam Shapers

Ion Lasers

Semiconductor (Diode) Lasers

Diode-Pumped Solid-State Lasers

Fiber Lasers

Lasers for Color Holography

Pseudowhite Laser for Holography

Lasers and Safety

Warning Notices

Avoiding Accidents

Protective Eyewear

Pulse Laser Safety

Laser Itself

Further Reading


Basic Types of Hologram

Laser Transmission Holograms

Replaying the Image

Real Image

White-Light Reflection Holograms

Phase Holograms

Image-Plane Holograms

White-Light Transmission Holograms

Other Types of Holograms

Holographic Stereograms

Color Holography

Digitally Printed Holograms

Digital Projection Holograms

Surface Plasmon Holograms

Embossed Holograms


Materials, Exposure, and Processing

Silver Halide Materials

Silver Halide Processing

Constituents of a Developer

Developer Classifications


Dichromated Gelatin

Rendering Dichromated Gelatin Sensitive to Red Light

Coating Plates



Sealing the Hologram

Color Control

Silver Halide-Sensitized Gelatin



Erasable Photosensitive Materials


Photochromic Materials

Photorefractive Crystals

Further Reading



Making Your First Hologram

Basic Requirements


Beam Expander

Support for the Laser

Support for the Plate

Setting Up for the Exposure

Setup with a Small Laser Pointer

Alternative Setup for a Larger Laser

Processing Solutions



Viewing the Image

One-Step Real Image

Protecting and Displaying Your Hologram

Working with Plates

Cutting Glass

Processing Plates

What Went Wrong?

Suppliers of Holographic Materials

Further Reading

Single-Beam Denisyuk Techniques

Single-Beam Holograms of Unstable Subject Matter

Building a Single-Beam Frame for a Prone Setup

Rear-Surface Mirror System without Double Reflections


Triangular Benches

Spatial Filtering

Setting Up with a Spatial Filter

Making an Electrically Operated Shutter


Index-Matching Fluid

Exposing and Processing

Getting the Exposure Right

Multiexposure Techniques

Transfer Principle

Making a Reflection Master Hologram

Making a Reflection Transfer Hologram

Making a Transmission Master Hologram

360° Holograms

Further Applications of Single-Beam Holograms

Mounting and Finishing Holograms



Single-Beam Bypass Holograms

Transmission Master Holograms

Reflection Master Holograms

Reflection Transfer Holograms

Full-Aperture Transmission Transfer Holograms

Rainbow Holograms

Reflection Holograms from Transmission Masters

Other Configurations


Building Your Own Holographic Laboratory

Laboratory Space

Optical Table

Building a Sand Table

Building a Concrete Table

Metal Tables

Table Supports

Bases for Optical Components

Excluding Drafts

Mounting the Laser

Gantry for Overhead Equipment


Draft Exclusion

Processing Area


Display Area


Making Master Holograms for Transfer


Other Types of Beamsplitter

Illuminating the Subject

Component Mountings


Collimating Mirror

How Stable Is Your Table?

Basic Lighting for Transmission Master Holograms

What Went Wrong?

Backlighting and Background Illumination

Silhouettes and Black Holes

Supine Subjects

Frontal Illumination

Multiple-Exposure Techniques

Masters for Rainbow Holograms

Reflection Master Holograms

Optical Fiber Systems for Holography

Multimode Fibers

Single-Mode Fibers

Fiber-Optics Holography on Location

Portable Cameras with Pulse Lasers


Transfer Reflection Image Holograms

Parallax in Transfer Holograms

Reflection Transfer Holograms from Transmission Masters

How to Deal with Weak Master Images

Side and Underneath Beam Master Transfers

Role of the Bragg Condition

Two-Channel Transfer Holograms

Holograms of Stereoscopic Pairs of Photographs

Multichannel Images

Pellicular Collimating Mirrors

Contact Copying of Holograms

Contact Copies by Scanning

More Advanced Scanning System

What Went Wrong?

White-Light Transmission Transfer and Rainbow Holograms

Full-Aperture Transfer Holograms

Rainbow Holograms

Geometry of a Rainbow Hologram

Slit Width

1D Beam Expander

Convergent Reference Beam

Multichannel Rainbow Holograms

What Went Wrong?

Edge-Lit Holograms


Holograms Involving Focusing Optics

Demagnifying and Magnifying

Image Enlargement and Reduction

Focused-Image Transmission Holograms

Lenses for Focused-Image Holograms

Focused-Image Reflection Holograms

Focused-Image Rainbow Holograms

Fourier-Transform Holograms


Homemade Optical Elements

Liquid-Filled Lenses

Working with Acrylic Sheet

One-Dimensional Collimators

What to Do in Case of Leaks

Other Sizes and Focal Lengths

Calculations for Designing a Liquid-Filled Lens

Two-Dimensional Collimating Lenses

Measurements for a Collimating Lens

Focusing Lenses

Holographic Optical Elements

Focal Length in Holographic Lenses and Mirrors

Holographic Diffraction Gratings

Holographic Lenses

Holographic Mirrors and Beamsplitters

Holographic Collimating Mirrors

Aberrations of HOEs

Multibeam HOEs


Portraiture and Pulse Laser Holography

Safety Considerations for Pulse Lasers

Working with a Pulse Laser

Optical Components for Pulsed Holography

Typical Layout of Pulse Holography Studio

Portraiture in a Pulse Studio

Creative Lightning for Pulse Portraiture

Pulse Laser Exposure

Double and Multiple Pulses

Other Pulse Subject Matter

Processing of Pulse Laser Holograms

Holography in Natural Colors

Eye and Color Perception

CIE Chromacity Diagram

Color Transmission Holograms

Denisyuk Holograms in Color

Transfer Hologram Copies in Color

Color Accuracy

Portraiture in Color

Color Reproduction in Digitally Printed Holograms

Preserving the Color in Color Holograms

Future of Color Holography


Further Reading

Achromatic and Pseudocolor Holograms

Achromatic White-Light Transmission Transfer Holograms

Dispersion Compensation

Color Image from Dispersion-Compensated WLT Holograms

Achromatic Angle for Transmission Masters

Achromatic Reflection Holograms

Pseudocolor Holograms

Pseudocolor Single-Beam Reflection Holograms

Pseudocolor H1-H2 Transfer Reflection Holograms

Color Registration by Preswelling

Color Registration by Geometry

How to Obtain Precise Registration by Geometry

Pseudocolor White-Light Transmission Holograms

Obtaining Better Color Registration for WLT Hologram

One-Step Pseudocolor WLT Holograms


Holographic Stereograms

Multiplexing Principle

Making a Multiplexed Hologram

Cylindrical (Cross) Stereograms

Making a Cylindrical Cross Stereogram

Conical Stereograms

Flat Image-Plane Stereograms

Scope of Modern Stereographic Imagery

Geometries for Producing Original Image Sequences

Perspective and Distortion

Wide-Angle Distortion

Alignment and Spacing of the Images

Long-Base Stereograms

Image Registration

Computer Control of Imagery

Making the Final Transfer

Do-It-Yourself Stereographic Holoprinter: Basic Considerations

Stereogram Masters from Film Transparency Sets or Digitally Projected Images

Stereogram Masters from Photographic Prints

Images from Liquid Crystal Display Screen as Objects for Stereogram Masters

Mastering and Transferring for Achromatic Stereograms

Full-Color Stereograms

Mastering for Full-Color Stereograms (Red Laser)

Transfer for Full-Color Stereograms

Color Balance

Color Accuracy: WLT or Reflection?

Calculating Distances

Preventing Dropouts

Computer Image Processing

Volume Multiplexed Holograms


Digital Holographic Printing

Direct Writing of Holographic Fringes

Principles of Digital Hologram Printing

Master-Write Digital Holographic Printing

Direct Master-Write Digital Holographic Printing

Direct-Write Digital Holographic Printing

Pixel Swapping

Digital Holographic Printer

Virtual 3D Scene Imaging for Holographic Printing

Real Scene Imaging for Holographic Printing

Other Applications


Display Techniques

Basic Types of Hologram and Their Display

Displaying Holograms at Home

Window Displays

Displays to Accompany Lectures and Presentations

Submitting Your Holograms for Exhibitions

Packing Your Hologram for Forwarding to an Exhibition

Organizing an Exhibition of Holograms

Lighting Arrangements

Light Sources

Installing the Exhibits

Floor Plan

Relevant Information


Photography of Holograms

Photographing Reflection Holograms

Photographing Transmission Holograms

Photographing Unusual Holograms

Presenting Holograms on the Internet

Viewpoint and Parallax

Precautions at Exhibitions

Using Flash at the Exhibitions



Embossed Holograms

Origination Requirements for Surface Relief Originals

Artwork for Analog Originals

Analog Origination

Artwork for Digital Originals

Dot Matrix

Image Matrix Machinery

E-Beam Lithography

Digital Mastering with Analog Transfer

DWDH Originals

Combined Techniques

Depositing the Conductive Layer on the Master

First-Generation Master

Electroforming of Final Shims

Embossing Process

Further Reading



Holography and Measurement

Direct Measurements Using Holography

Principle of Holographic Interferometry

Real-Time Interferometry

Double-Exposure Interferometry

Time-Average Interferometry

Strobed Interferometry

Visualization of Fluid Flows

Doubled Illuminating Beams

Camera for Holographic Interferometry

Sandwich Holography

Reference Mirror Rotation

Fringe Measurement

Speckle Interferometry

Holographic Contouring

Summary of Applications

Further Reading


Data Storage and Diffractive Elements

Why Holographic Data Storage?

Data Processing

Spatial Filtering with Fourier-Transform Holograms

Fourier-Transform Holograms: The Principles

Image Deblurring

Correlation Filtering

Computer-Generated Holograms

Applications of Fourier-Transform CGHs

Strategies for Making CGHs

CGHs with a Personal Computer

Diffractive Optical Elements

Basic Types of DOE

Fabrication of DOEs

Applications of DOEs

Further Reading


Holography in Biology and Medicine

Dental Holography

Histology and Pathology

Ophthalmic Holography

Multiplexed Holograms

Holograms and Diagnostics


Holographic Motion Pictures and Video

Making the 3D Image Move

Holographic Movies

Electroholography: Holographic Video and Television

Two Approaches to Holographic Video

Three-Dimensional Scene Acquisition with Four-Wave Mixing

Three-Dimensional Scene Acquisition with Integral Imaging

Acquired 3D Scene Processing for Wavefront-Based Displays

HoloDis: Display with Subwavelength Light Modulators

MIT Scophony Displays

NICT Display System

SeeReal Display

QinetiQ Display

University of Arizona Photorefractive Polymer Display

Zebra Imaging Holographic Motion Displays

Zoetrope and Holographic Projections


Other Applications of Holography

Far-Field Holography


Microwave Holography

Infrared Holography

Terahertz Holography

Ultraviolet Holography

X-Ray Holography

Electron Holography

Acoustic Holography

Light-in-Flight Holography

Polarization Holography

Conoscopic Holography

Pseudodeep Holograms

Surface-Plasmon Holography



About the Authors

Graham Saxby had a career in photography with the Royal Air Force, including seven years as an officer commanding Photographic Science Flight at the RAF Joint School of Photography. Afterwards, he joined what is now the University of Wolverhampton, teaching educational technology to trainee teachers and, later, modern optics in degree courses in applied sciences. This gave him the opportunity to indulge his enthusiasm for holography and to build his own laboratory, where he organized projects. His work in holography earned him an international reputation, and his published material has received a number of prestigious awards.

Stanislovas Zacharovas, PhD, is director of Geola Digital uab, which is a premier provider of holographic materials, digital holographic equipment, pulsed lasers, and other related services. He earned his PhD from the Institute of Semiconductor Physics at the Lithuanian Academy of Science with a thesis on magnetic semiconductor photoconductivity. He worked in the SAT and CATV industry before joining Geola in 1998. His scientific research focuses on silver halide photographic emulsions, hologram copying, autostereoscopy, and digital holographic printing and embossed holography for security applications. He has authored and coauthored numerous papers and holds several patents.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Physics