HNW - Museum photography

Mike Newell 72123.411 at compuserve.com
Thu Sep 24 07:27:06 PDT 1998


Dear Donna (and others):

My own experience in museum photography --which I did back in 1980 through
1988-- was in some American museums, Museum of Costume, Bath, V&A, and
Museum of London.. My camera broke several years ago and I haven't 
bothered to get it fixed.

**Yellow color** : you need a  tungsten filter. I found this out the hard
way when I photographed a lovely 1986 )1987?) exhibition of 18th century
costume and silks at the Boston Musuem of  Fine Arts. I shot a roll of
film, it developed with a yellow cast, and the people at the photoshop sold
me a special filter. It worked. The dummies I photographed were *not*
behind glass. When I shot things behind glass I needed, instead, a
polarizing filter. Of course, this polarizing filter cut down on light. I
opened the F stop all the way and prayed. Most of the time I got OK shots.
I used AS1000 film with a SLR camera -- Pentax ME.

When I was shooting stuff at the V&A it was like shooting in a cave. The
light meter laughed at me, but I took a deep breath, shot, and they all
came out!

The  magnifying lens, at my camera shop, was called a telephoto lens. I
paid the $60.00 (or was it $100??) and found it was worth it.

The ASA1000 film was the fastest available at that time--  its main
drawback is graininess. I was told using a tripod might cut down on that, 
but since some museums don't want tripods, I used the method some other
Listers do --  bracing myself against the glass,or my leg, trying not to
breathe, etc. Most of the time it worked, but now and then I got a blurry
shot. By then I was back home in the US and it was too late. :-(

I hope this is helpful -- I'm not a techno person, but I learned just
enough to get the photos I wanted.

- --Kathryn (science impaired)
SCA: Kathryn Goodwyn
"too many centuries...too little time"
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