Speed The Plow N G A


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Speaker Slides from Alan Newman from The Natioinal Gallery of Art for Speed the Plow: Rapid Capture Digital Workflow, MCN 2009

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Speed The Plow N G A

  1. 1. Imaging and Visual Services (DIVS) Alan Newman Chief, Imaging and Visual Services National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. MCN2009 - November 13 In late 2004 the Gallery began direct imaging of collection objects in studios with high-resolution, color accurate digital cameras. We adhere to ICC and ISO industry standard color-managed workflow for image capture, display, evaluation and output. This is a rigorous, labor- intensive color matching process---as Stanley said, think SLOW. Rapid Capture or RapCap or Speed the Plow is a methodology to get 90% quality for 10% of the effort with 1,000% the production. 1
  2. 2. Imaging and Visual Services (DIVS) Rapid Capture  Rapid Capture Goals  Staff Training  Initial Software Setup  Software Settings  Color Profile  Artwork Preparation  Photography  Image Cataloging Assembly-line imaging is modeled after museum projects at Harvard (kudos to Sam Quigley for pushing the idea), Chicago and the British Museum. Of course assembly line imaging grew out of the Google Book and other archives and library digitization projects in the early nineties. Even before, the AIC build a copystand with two cameras on a wheel to shoow 35mm b&w & color slides on each for all the originaldrawings. For its time it was a trailblazer, but quality was surpassed by today’s high-end DSLRs. We shot 1,000 Max Beckmann sketches in 2007 as a proof of concept. Our choice of camera is the Canon5D MarII which gives the best cost/quality return. 2
  3. 3. Imaging and Visual Services (DIVS) Rapid Capture  Massive infusion of collection images on Gallery website  Increase web images from present 8,000 to 23,000 in 2011 and 55,000 by 2013  From 6% (2009) to 49% (2013) of collection  Provide free images of works in the public domain for non-commercial, educational uses. The critical goal is to show what has not been seen and distribute what is seen in an effortless way. We just began a two year project funded at the Gallery by the Samuel Kress Foundation. We pledged to provide any image we shoot in the public domain free to scholars and the general public, for any non commercial use. 3
  4. 4. Imaging and Visual Services (DIVS) Rapid Capture A large yield of images is only possible with a different quality assurance model. 90% quality for 10% effort and 1,000% the production. Color is profiled for each discrete lighting setup. Images are very good quality for the web and permit pan/zoom to show detail. Currently using Canon5DII 22mp Images can be used for print reproductions in the future and can be finely color matched to the original on an ad hoc basis for high-end publication. We should not need to reshoot. 4
  5. 5. Imaging and Visual Services (DIVS) Rapid Capture “…we believe [this grant] will put the Gallery at the forefront of major art museums seeking to enlist emerging technologies in support of both the preservation and the provision of access to their collections. The Kress Foundation's Board of Trustees is especially pleased to know that the Gallery will make the thousands of digitized images produced through this important project available online, at high resolution and free-of-charge, for scholarly and educational use, including reproduction in scholarly publications; … that the Gallery is firmly committed to this goal. We applaud the Gallery for seeking to establish a model that holds the promise of addressing perhaps the single greatest challenge faced by art historical publishing today, which other art museums will feel compelled to adopt….” So we are addressing a potential crisis in art publishing, i.e. the continued rise in fees for a commodity that once made has a meaningless cost to the museum to maintain and distribute. We’ll have further discussion about these issues tomorrow with Amalyah, Simon Tanner and John in a session unfortunately titled perverse-reverse economics. 5
  6. 6. Imaging and Visual Services (DIVS) Rapid Capture Art Handling Workflow Orientation 6
  7. 7. Imaging and Visual Services (DIVS) Rapid Capture Initial one-time setup of preferences in the various software packages to establish: • watch folders for automatic ingestion and image processing in Lightroom • automatic file naming • export specifications 7
  8. 8. Imaging and Visual Services (DIVS) Rapid Capture Adobe DNG Profile Editor is used for creating a camera profile in Lightroom. Using the “chart” method provides a colorimetric calibration that performs reasonably well for most artwork. 8
  9. 9. Imaging and Visual Services (DIVS) Rapid Capture Shot # ObjectID ObjectNo Attribution Title Class Location Existing Digital Box1/D,BR,XX, 1 4678 1943.3.1534 Sir Muirhead Bone Vega of Granada Drawing no BONE,2/7 Roman Bridge, Box1/D,BR,XX, 2 4684 1943.3.1540 Sir Muirhead Bone Drawing no Zamora BONE,2/7 River at Gerona, Box1/D,BR,XX, 3 4685 1943.3.1541 Sir Muirhead Bone Drawing no Spain BONE,2/7 Box1/D,BR,XX, 4 4688 1943.3.1544 Sir Muirhead Bone Evening in Ronda Drawing no BONE,2/7 Box1/D,BR,XX, 5 4691 1943.3.1547 Sir Muirhead Bone Gerona Road Drawing no BONE,2/7 Praying Bench, San Box1/D,BR,XX, 6 4682 1943.3.1538 Sir Muirhead Bone Drawing no Pedro, Gerona BONE,2/7 Box1/D,BR,XX, 7 4692 1943.3.1548 Sir Muirhead Bone Dawn, Cuenca Drawing no Before Photography:The Museum TechAsturian create aBox1/D,BR,XX, the artworks Old will list of BONE,2/7 8 5055 1943.3.1894 Sir Muirhead Bone Drawing no to be photographed for a given day. Houses, Oviedo BONE,2/7 This list will originate in TMS as an object package. The final list for photography must be in spreadsheet form with object numbers or TMS IDS included as a distinct column and a column of sequence numbers beginning at 1. The spreadsheet of artworks to be photographed will be sent to the photographer and to DIVS image catalogers. We use copy-paste instead of typing to link filenam to accession#. 9
  10. 10. Imaging and Visual Services (DIVS) Rapid Capture Exposure is determined using a BabelColor White target in order to maximize the exposure without clipping the highlights. Each artwork is photographed with the grayscale patches of the Macbeth ColorChecker and a ruler. If it is an abstract work of art, then an arrow is included to indicate orientation. The lens is set to f/8.0, since this was determined in previous testing to provide the optimal MTF for that camera/lens combination. 10
  11. 11. Imaging and Visual Services (DIVS) Rapid Capture James McBey, A Tinker Child, Macduff, 1914 To help keep the “rapid” in rapid capture, whenever possible the artwork is photographed with the matte closed and this is then used as a cropping guide. All post-processing is done in Adobe Lightroom. The only work that needs to be done manually is to crop the image and rotate if necessary. Because cropping is done in Lightroom, it is non-destructive and can be changed at any time as needed. The last step for the photographer is to export the images to DNG format. 11
  12. 12. Imaging and Visual Services (DIVS) Rapid Capture DNG files are imported into Extensis Portfolio, the image database currently used at NGA. Metadata is imported from TMS and the Image Catalogers review and assign additional metadata. 12
  13. 13. Imaging and Visual Services (DIVS) Rapid Capture This is another view into the same image database showing a technical approval by a second photographer (general exposure & color) and the museum technician who approves the orientation and the correct match of unique object id (accession#) to the image. So all approvals and workflows take place online. 13
  14. 14. Imaging and Visual Services (DIVS) Rapid Capture 14