Although it would seem obvious that object-oriented techniques are well suited to modeling image processing systems, there is almost no research to substantiate this position. We review the unique challenges faced when modeling, that is, specifying and designing, imaging systems. First, the argument is presented that specification and design of imaging systems should be studied as a special case. Next, a subset of techniques that have been used to model practical imaging systems is surveyed. Then the use of object-oriented techniques in the specification of imaging systems is investigated more fully and compared to a widely used alternative—structured analysis and design—by way of a case study. We conclude with some recommendations for best practices and future research.