Documentation Workshop in the Observatory

Nick Manser introduced us to the facilities in the Observatory for documenting our work: the white wall, the white, grey, black and coloured paper backdrops, the lights and of course the DSLR camera mounted on a movable stand.

Under his guidance, we practised taking photos of a collograph print Nic had made, experimenting with the lights, the camera programme, the aperture, the speed, the ISO settings and white balance adjustments.

I wanted to take some better pictures of the reverse side of some rubbings I had made at the Bargehouse which are white-on-white in low relief. Since I had brought the wrong sketchbook, I couldn’t do it on the day but Nick showed us how to do it in principle, using the back of Nic’s print. Then, armed with Nick’s instructions, I set up a mini-studio at home with my adjustable IKEA mini-spotlights.

160123 Documentation Workshop 01 set up at home for web160123 Documentation Workshop 02 set up at home for web

I tried with just one light and then with both. It didn’t seem to make much difference to the results.


Can you see any real difference between these?

160123 Bargehouse floor rubbings 01 for web 160123 Bargehouse floor rubbings 03 for web

160119 TTSU 08 success on the Beever press for web

with just ambient lighting in the print room

160123 TTSU 01 cover with better lighting for web

taken in my home photo studio


Then I tried photographing an embossed book cover I had made in the print room the day before, where the title was also in quite low relief. I got a much better picture than I had managed before.



160123 Documentation Workshop 04 set up at home for webAnd finally I took photos of a couple of drawings using the basic set up of two light sources, one either side, at a roughly 45 degree angle. You can see the results here.