Wednesday, June 18, 2014

BTS: Photographic Inventory of Collection

Morristown, Behind the Scenes

Have you ever wondered how museum objects are photographed for publications or special exhibits?


For the past couple of years, volunteer Steve Newfield  has helped us with our object catalogs. Working alongside our museum specialist, Joni Rowe, Steve stages a photo booth, complete with backdrop, lighting, and object mounts.

Steve and Joni use different backdrops for different projects. Dark backdrops help highlight pale or light colored artifacts (see photo B) and light backdrops help emphasize the details in darker artifacts (see photo A). The neutral background in these images allows us to utilize collection photos for various projects and in various publications, as the artifacts are clear and un-obscured. This makes cropping and digital image layering possible as well.

Steve uses a combination of natural and artificial light to get the clearest images, and he often stands on a stool to ensure the best vantage point.
Here you can see the stunning detail of Steve's photography, a prime example of his care and precision.
*Artifact photos by Steve Newfield.

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