Photographing in the Field Workshop
Wednesday, May 10, 12:00-1pm CWAC Rm 257
Hosted by the Visual Resources Center
Will you be going on a research trip this summer and could use some photography tips and tricks? This workshop will discuss basic camera controls and techniques for taking pictures in museums, archives, and architectural sites. We will also discuss some simple Photoshop techniques used to improve photographs taken in difficult situations. Come with questions and your camera! Sandwiches will be provided after the workshop. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image by © Babak Tafreshi/National Geographic Creative/Corbis
Keystoning occurs when the subject is not parallel with the camera lense. For example, if the camera lense is closer to the bottom of the building, it will appear much larger than the top of the building in the photograph.
1. Double the size of the canvas. Image > Canvas Size
2. Select the entire image area.
3. Edit > Transform > Skew
To rectify right angles and retain proportions do not pull top corner fully out, but only halfway out, and then pull other corner halfway in, creating a fulcrum upon the midpoint of the line.
It may help to view the image with a grid. View > Show > Grid
4. Now crop out the superfluous two corners.
The Visual Resources Center recently added a beautiful group of French medieval cathedrals to the publicly available Lantern Slide Collection. These images are some of the finest examples of large format architectural photography in the collection. We continue to add images to the Luna collection on a regular basis, so check back in to see what’s new!
Are you spending too much time with repetitive tasks in Photoshop? Photoshop actions allows you to record a process and save that information as an action which you can then use for other tasks down the road. Not only that, you can edit actions after the fact and customize them to suit your needs.
While you can make an unlimited amount of actions, including color correction, below is an example of how to resize images ideal for Powerpoint. Take some time to plan the steps of the actions before recording.
Have you ever wanted to eliminate the distracting background from an object photographed on-site? Cutting out the background can be very easy or a bit challenging, depending on how complex the image is. The magic wand tool can be a very effective tool when your background is simple in nature.
1. Select the magic wand tool from the toolbar.
2. Click on the area you want to sample. The magic wand will outline the area with flashing dotted lines.
3. Initially, the magic wand may only pick up some of the background. Hold the Shift key and continue clicking on the areas to add to the selection until the object is isolated.
4. Use the Exposure tool to adjust the background to white or black, pulling it to the far right for white or far left for black.
5. You may need to use the clone tool or paintbrush to clean-up areas that the magic wand tool missed.
Founded in 1949, the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY is the world’s oldest museum of photography and recently announced that it will be the first photography museum to join the Google Art Project:
So far, 50 high-resolution images from their collection—encompassing the birth of photography to the late 20th century—have been added to the Google Art Project website with zooming capabilities and robust cataloging information, and much of the object data was previously unavailable online. More photographs will eventually be added, and the GEH is also partnering with Google Maps Street View to provide 360º views of their galleries and grounds.
For more information, visit the George Eastman House in Google Art Project or read the GEH Press Release.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art recently launched a new collections website that features a faceted search engine that facilitates both browsing and direct searching of the museum’s objects. Most importantly, however, is LACMA’s initiative to release nearly 20,000 high-quality images of art objects from their collection believed to be in the public domain. Users can freely download the images and use them as they see fit.
If you want to see all of the public domain objects for which downloading a high-quality image is possible, run a search on your research term and select “Show only unrestricted images” at the top of the page. Alternatively, if you’d like to all 20,000 objects LACMA has made freely downloadable, run a blank search and select “Show only results with unrestricted images” from the top of the page.
For even more information, we keep our list of Copyright Lenient Images for Academic Publishing up-to-date.
The Center for the Art of East Asia has recently announced the launch of a new and improved website for the digital handscroll paintings project:
One of the major types of traditional East Asian painting, the handscroll, or horizontal scroll, is meant to be appreciated by unrolling and viewing it section-by-section as a continuous composition. Unfortunately, the temporal and participatory aspects of viewing handscrolls cannot be readily experienced today, as the original paintings are far too valuable and fragile to be handled frequently. When shown in museums, they are always placed in glass cases and are seldom displayed in their entirety. For students and specialists seeking to view them, it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain access to these important cultural materials. Beyond the rare opportunities to experience them in person, they are primarily known through static, fragmentary images in slides and as photographs in books. Fortunately, the digital medium has offered the potential for much greater exposure to these works of art, simulating the interactive viewing experience for which they were originally designed. The Center for the Art of East Asia (CAEA)at the University of Chicago has teamed with the Visual Resources Center (VRC) and Humanities Research Computing to develop this innovative digital presentation. Initially used as a course website, we are also developing it as a resource for teaching and research at other universities and for museum archiving and exhibition. The digital scrolling paintings website is a multi-functional tool that allows users to move through the scrolls and view elements of the painting in high resolution, with colophons, signatures, and seals of artists and collectors, and also to examine their media, materiality, and techniques of production. This is a means to fuller understanding of a work both in its details and as a composite of its many elements.
Digital technology presents these paintings as continuous scrolling images and offers various kinds of user interfaces such as auto-scrolling, zooming, and comparison. The newly designed website has more paintings accessible for public viewing and enhanced functions for searching, text annotations, and links to related material. We are continuing to add paintings to the public website and partnering with other institutions with a goal to create a more extensive public database of these invaluable works of art. We will include more rare works, Japanese painting, and calligraphy. The project has negotiated agreements to show paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Nelson-Atkins Museum, Palace Museum, Beijing, St. Louis Art Museum, and the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago.
To learn more, visit the Digital Scrolling Paintings Project.
The Google Cultural Institute and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem collaborated to bring five complete Dead Sea Scrolls online. The new digital library (released Tuesday, December 18), allows users to study and discover the the most ancient biblical manuscripts on earth:
The website gives searchable, fast-loading, high-resolution images of the scrolls, as well as short explanatory videos and background information on the texts and their history. The scroll text is also discoverable via web search. If you search for a phrase from the scrolls, a link to that text within the scroll may surface in your search results. For example, try searching on Google for [And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb Dead Sea Scroll].
English translations of the manuscripts are also available. The Google Cultural Institute is also responsible for the Art Project as well as other digital humanities projects, including Versailles 3D and La France en relief. For the Dead Sea Scrolls project, they used imaging technology originally developed for NASA. The scrolls weren’t discovered until 1947, and they had been in the Qumran caves for two thousand years. ArtDaily reports:
The parchment and papyrus scrolls contain Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic script, and include several of the earliest-known texts from the Bible, including the oldest surviving copy of the Ten Commandments. The oldest of the documents dates to the third century BC and the most recent to about 70 AD, when Roman troops destroyed the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The artefacts are housed at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where the larger pieces are shown at the dimly lit Shrine of the Book on a rotational basis in order to minimise damage from exposure. When not on show, they are kept in a dark, climate-controlled storeroom in conditions similar to those in the Qumran caves, where the humidity, temperature and darkness preserved the scrolls for two millennia.
For more information, visit the Digital Dead Sea Scrolls.
Today, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdamn is launching RijksStudio, a digital collection of 125,000 works in the collection. We posted about the first installment about a year ago, and now they’ve fully unveiled their impressive new image platform.
All works in the RijksStudio are available for users to download for personal use as a high-quality jpeg image file. (Using images for professional and commercial uses is possible, but requires filling out a form to obtain permission from the museum). Depending on the type of use, print, and format, images can be downloaded either free or charge or for a fee.
In addition to browsing and searching the collection, you can create image groups or explore the image groups of other users. In depth content such as context about art movements, artists’ biographies, and other historical events is available when browsing through facets or when viewing an individual work. Images can be shared on various public media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Pintrest. You can also easily order reproductions of the images.
The image records for objects in the collection contain an absolute wealth of information, including basic object data, exhibition histories, provenance, related artworks, copyright status, and a section called “Documentation,” which serves as a bibliography of the object with links to published references of the work including scholarly articles, monographs, and exhibition catalogs. When online content is available, the object data includes links—for example, links to JSTOR articles.
You can create an account using your email address or log in through your Facebook account. For more information or to start exploring, click here.