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What The Modern Museum Should Expect From Its In-House Photographic Studio

TitleWhat The Modern Museum Should Expect From Its In-House Photographic Studio
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsStevenson, J.
Secondary TitleInternational Cultural Heritage Informatics Meeting - ICHIM07: Proceedings
Conference Start DateOctober 24-26
PublisherArchives & Museum Informatics
Place PublishedToronto, Ontario, Canada
EditorTrant, J., & Bearman D.
Keywordsimaging, multi-media photographic studio, museum, photography

Photographic Studios have traditionally made 2D images of objects in their collections for publications, catalogues, PR and support for academic research and conservation. Production of these images has been as a response to specific projects such as exhibitions and has rarely been focused on an attempt to interpret the collections as a whole. Digital imaging and the production of a greater variety of multimedia now enables image makers in museums to play a more central role in the interpretation and universal view of collections. It is my belief that the in-house photographic studio should adopt the greatest variety of imaging techniques now available to them to tell the museums story with these forms of media. To concentrate solely on the creation of 2D images is shortsighted and creates the risk that image making will become the remit of the IT specialist. The authors view is that image making should remain the responsibility of the photographer, the person who understands the fundamental principles of lighting, but one who must adopt the full range of multimedia techniques to tell the museums story. The final consequence of adopting, understanding and exploiting new media technologies also allows for the possibility that the modern photographer can reasonably attempt to make images of the whole collection held by the large museum: Something that was impossible in an analogue world.