View Full Version : Source for lighting info...

10-27-2010, 07:52 AM
Just wondering if anyone has an up-to-date source for information/technique/materials for lighting museum objects in the photo studio.

Some issues I'm trying to figure out:

-I've heard some stuff about using daylight fluorescents rather than tungstens for less heat and they work better with digital cameras.

-I've read somewhere that MOMA has some sort of 'heat reflectors' on their lights to protect objects, but I couldn't find a brand name.

-And I'm always interested in reading about solutions museum photographers have used to photograph difficult items (reflective/large/small/etc.).



T. Ashley McGrew
10-27-2010, 10:01 PM
Hi Jason,

You have several really good topics going here!
Hopefully we will get good responses.

At this point the PACIN website can provide access to a huge audience around the world but only a few are registered on the site right now.
The PACIN listserve on the other hand provides direct access to hardcore members but is only 800 members strong.
Until we figure out how to integrate the listserve and the website it remains a good thing to post on the listserve as well as on the website.

In exhibitions areas we have ties to NAME (another AAM group) focusing primarily on exhibition design and in mountmaking where we are in close touch with many major players in the Mountmakers Forum - which is a new group (having produced two national conferences so far) with a email list and that will be publishing articles on the PACIN website, but the imaging community is one that I don't have any real connections with.
Given the importance of digital imaging in so many aspects of the work we do (especially collections relocation projects which are a personally favorite of mine) it seems that this is long overdue. Thanks for bringing to everyones attention a whole area that requires our attention.
This is how good things happen.
With best regards,

T. Ashley McGrew
10-31-2010, 10:08 PM
Just wanted to pass on this suggestion from the PACIN listserve.
It sounds like just the ticket. Thanks Philip!

You should join the ImageMus Forum.
It is the museum photographers group.

Philip Brutz
Cleveland Museum of Art

11-02-2010, 06:34 AM
I ran across this article talking about light levels on art during photography. It's a little old, but good info:



02-04-2015, 04:44 AM
Do you have an economical source for black and white dimensional scales and the grey scale and color patch thingies that folks tend to put in the frame when documenting some objects?
How about tips on their use?

02-04-2015, 07:25 AM
There are quite a few options for color charts, this is the classic one:


and this is another large one:


The way to use these is to take a photo with the color checker in the shot, or take two photos, one with the color checker and one without. Then, in Camera RAW (or Photoshop) you use the White Balance Tool (a little gray eyedropper) to adjust your color. You click the tool on the neutral gray section of the color chart. Here is a quick tutorial on how to use that tool:


It isn't perfect, but it is much, much better than nothing!

An even better way to adjust color is to use something like this:


You still put the color chart in the photograph, but then the x-rite program automatically color corrects your image to the chart. Much more precise.

If you want to go for the best of the best, either Golden Thread (http://www.imagescienceassociates.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=ISA001&Product_Code=GTK&Category_Code=GT) or calibrating your system to Metamorfoze (http://imagingetc.com/images/Resources_Images/PDFs_DownloadFiles/Metamorfoze_Preservation_Imaging_Guidelines_1.0.pd f) is what the pros use.

Of course you'll need to calibrate your monitor too with something like this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/838844-REG/Datacolor_S4P100_Spyder4Pro_Software.html