Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Colonoscopy is critical to early detection of cancerous colorectal lesions. Current colonoscopy methods predict tissue morphology based on two-dimensional images obtained from a conventional colonoscope, which cannot be used to extract significant topographic information. Furthermore, illumination of the whole tissue from multiple light sources at once produces images with subtle contrast, hindering detection of lesions. It is estimated that 30% of clinically significant lesions are missed during this routine screening, partly due to limitations in current endoscopy imaging technologies. This invention enables three-dimensional surface image construction and topographical mapping of the tissue of interest to improve detection of colorectal lesions using photometric stereo technology.