Cultural Heritage Imaging

CHI at WAAC by marlinlum
October 7, 2010, 7:56 pm
Filed under: Commentary, Conferences, Guest Blogger

A couple of weeks ago Carla Schroer conducted a workshop for a selected group of members of the Western Association for Art Conservation (WAAC) and members of cultural institutions in the Portland, OR area. The workshop was conducted at the beautifully restored and technologically advanced White Stag building of the University of Oregon, Portland. The title of the workshop was Digital Imaging Techniques for Conservation & Education. The three hour workshop was divided in two main sessions. In the first session, Carla lecture, via presentations, on the development and implementation of Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) in the conservation field and cultural heritage institutions.

Carla in teaching mode.

Carla brought a small fossil with her to be photographed. She explained the minimum equipment requirements and recommendations for successful setups for different size and types of objects. Once all the mechanics where explained Carla, a volunteer from the group, and my self proceeded to capture the object with 24 images each with a different lighting position. She followed by explaining the postproduction steps to build the final RTI image as well as the use of available viewers for these images. She also demonstrated some of the computational enhancements that could be applied to the images and the amazing amount of information that can be obtained in this way. The day ended with a great Q&A session that really brought home many of the concepts that Carla had touch upon during the day finalizing a really informative workshop.

On a personal note I am very happy to have had the opportunity to assist Carla with the practical aspect of the workshop, but even more happy that Carla came to the meeting and that she was able to mingle and meet many of the members of this wonderful WAAC organization. Wishing a long lasting partnership and collaboration among the two institutions I remain thankful.

Yosi Pozeilov
Sr. Conservation Photographer
Conservation Center, LACMA

VAST 2010 at the Ecole du Louvre, Paris by marlinlum
October 4, 2010, 7:54 pm
Filed under: Commentary, Conferences, On Location, Technology, Workshops

The Virutal Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (VAST) conference was great for us, and we are still enjoying being in Paris. This is a small focused conference with usually about 100 people in attendance. We put together a full day tutorial at the start of the conference with some of our favorite collaborators, and it was great to get this group together in person. We covered a lot of ground in a day with a nice mix of practical and theoretical material.

Carla setting up a demo during the tutorial

The rest of the conference was really good. I always enjoy the chance to catch up with various colleagues and friends, meet new folks working in this field, and see what other folks are up to. VAST is usually more on the computer science side of things, but there were a number of museum folks as well as archaeologists in attendance. There are always lively and sometimes controversial discussions, and this year lived up to that standard. Of great interest to me were the papers and discussions around how digital representations can track and reflect their true digital provenance from acquisition through to the finished process.

Mark and Carla in front of the Ecole du Louvre - site for the conference

I particularly appreciated a discussion with Holly Rushmeier from Yale University about what we mean by accuracy, high resolution, and quality in general? In particular what is even measurable, and how should we be measuring and recording it? Holly agreed that this is an area that needs some attention, and it will take the work of multiple institutions working together to come to any guidelines.

Having a chance to talk to Martin Doerr about mapping the digital provenance data to the CIDOC CRM always requires having your thinking cap on, but it’s so worth it. There were many other great people in attendance, interesting papers, and good food, wine and conversation. I look forward to next year when VAST is combined with VSMM (International Society on Virtual Systems and Multi-Media) in Alexandria, Egypt.