Friday, October 30, 2009


After arriving at work and doing a quick check of news: weather, sports, finance and world politics followed by the reading of and responses to emails it is welcome to another day in the life of a museum photographer.  It's the way every day starts.  The first of order of business for that day was to bring up to date the most recent ongoing project,  photography of African Printed Textiles.

Yesterday, in the film age, which ended about 5 years ago unprocessed film was sent to labs, it was processed and delivered by courier and the photographer was finished.  Today, in the new digital age, after shooting has taken place, digital processing and post production work follows in house.  It's fairly labor intensive yet the process yields a greater degree of quality control.  The last stage prepares compact discs with finished images including  recording data necessary to the archiving process.  That's what was happening when the  phone rang.  Ah yes,  being flexible is part of the  job.  It was Lisa Vann, our designer. "Franko we have an issue with Black Gold that you shot as an installation record."  So I went down to her office temporarily abandoning the on board project to deal with this priority.

The issue was as follows:  the image was being pulled off an installation shot.  These are shot as records.  They differ from publication quality photography which are photographed after carefully creating and sculpting with light to produce a "publication quality" picture.   After an exhibition is set up,  a set of "installation shots" are shot anywhere from 30 to 100 showing many views and details as a historical record.  It was decided that the image of Black Gold I, a temporary wall painting, was needed as the signature image for our new show Yinka Shonibare MBE.  So now I was asked to convert a record shot into a publication quality signature image.  I consulted with and was aided by Lea Ingold, my colleague who is currently under contract with our museum.  She is a regular photoshop whizz.  We worked together to extract a publication quality product from an installation shot.  Success was achieved after several hours of work.  After another much smaller fire was put out for another publication,  the day ended with closure on the African Printed Textile project.

The examples include Black Gold I shot as an Installation photograph and the digitally re-mastered version as a Publication quality example. 

Before work started

Publication quality

No comments:

Post a Comment