I recently had the opportunity to visit the Carmarthen Museum to take a series of photographs of a new collection of contemporary local ceramics.
There wasn’t a dedicated studio space at the museum so I used my own portable studio which includes a full Elinchrom studio flash system and light modifiers. I also provided neutral grey paper backdrops and blackout material for the windows. The 36 megapixel camera that was used to capture the images revealed a huge amount of fine detail such as the artists finger marks or brush strokes. This level of detail is often of great interest to future researchers or academics.
Colour accuracy is particularly important for images used in the heritage sector. Once the camera and lights were fully set up a reference shot is taken of a GretagMacbeth ColorChecker. This is then used in the Raw conversion to ensure the colour is as accurate as possible throughout the workflow.
Colour checking – Carmarthen Museum
Metadata such as artists name, date of manufacture, title of piece or series and information about the media type was embedded into the images as they were imported onto the computer. Images were captured in Raw and the client was provided with 16bit Adobe RGB Tiff files for their archive along with sRGB JPEG files for an online presentation they were preparing.
The objects were all handled by a museum specialist.
Carmarthen Museum – temporary studio
The collection of contemporary local ceramics is now on permanent display in the main hall of the museum.
Contemporary jug and bowl from the collection at the Carmarthen Museum
Detail of jug and bowl showing capture detail of Nikon D800
I worked for over 8 years for JISC Digital Media (formerly TASI) at Bristol University where I provided specialist photographic advice, support and on site consultancy to cultural heritage organisations across the UK. I now offer these services as a consultant. If you would like help in planning or undertaking a digitisation project do get in touch.
Customer video testimonials are a highly effective way of promoting your product or service. Your satisfied customer will reassure potential clients and show that others have used your company and are satisfied with the service you gave them. Your presenter may also use the video to recommend your business to others.
The testimonial isn’t ‘pushy’ as it is presented by your customer rather than a representative of your business. The audience can see and hear your presenter speaking in their own words, it therefore helps to build trust in your business.
Video testimonials can be placed on your home page or on a previous client page.
There are three stages in creating a video testimonial
This typically involves, identifying your target audience, selecting your ‘star’ customers to deliver the testimonials, storyboarding the shoot and negotiating with the contributors.
Filming, digitisation and capture of all media to be used for the testimonial.
Editing audio, video, stills and captions.
Prices for video testimonials start from £650.
Photo films can also be used to present testimonials. Your customer is recorded answering a few questions after which images and video is shot. The elements are then edited together to produce the final testimonial. The advantage of the photo-film testimonial is that there are also a set of still images which may be used for other applications such as PR and social media.
With product and food photography it is essential that the serious photographer familiarises themselves with the item to be photographed before the shoot, and ice cream is NO exception. With a highly professional approach to my subject, I had to familiarise myself with several scoops of ice cream before I was anywhere near ready to proceed with the photography.
Marshfield Farm Ice Cream near Bath have just added some new flavours to their range and I was asked to photograph them. The new flavours include Sea Salt and Caramel, Luscious Lemon and Candy Floss.
The images are to be used for point of sale, press, public relations, trade journals and on social media. In the run up to the shoot, the client, art director and I discussed the new flavours, agreed a shooting plan and decided on props and settings for each of the pictures.
Marshfield Ice Cream Seasalt and Caramel
We chose props and locations that complemented the products without overpowering the shot. For the Lemon flavour we kept the palette simple and clean to reflect the fresh taste of this product. For the Sea Salt and Caramel we found some large pebbles and slates and a salt scoop that had a similar colour to the ice cream. The Candy Floss flavour was more playful and aimed at a younger market so we used brightly coloured props around the ice cream.
With a wide range of potential uses the high resolution files were often over 100MB in size, these images provided sufficient detail for most print applications and could be resized for lower resolution applications.
I will be running the London Marathon in April for the Bath based charity, Rainforest Concern. This will be my third marathon and training doesn’t get easier. I hope to cross the finishing line within 4 hours but as most runners would agree crossing the start line is quite an achievement.
I am aiming to raise over £1000 for the charity, if you would like to sponsor me please visit my Just Giving page and I occasionally post about the slow progress of my training plan on Twitter @NigelGoldsmith.
There is considerable research proving that online video can enhance the user experience and boost Google rankings but for many organisations the cost is way beyond their budget.
Online video should be of a high technical standard to retain the audience. A video crew typically has three or more skilled people to capture the image, record the sound, light the set, direct the process and put it all together in the editing suite. In contrast, a photo-film can be produced by one person.
What is a photo-film?
A photo film is a set of still images, carefully ordered into a series to create a slide show. A voiceover or soundtrack is combined with the images to produce an audio slide show. This is then published on familiar sits such as Vimeo or YouTube from where it can be embedded on websites, blogs or social media.
Like video the production is carefully planned, a script is written and a storyboarded is agreed. At a convenient time the images are taken or historic images might be digitised. A three minute photo-film can use between 50 and 100 images. The voiceover and ambient sound may be recorded during the visit or alternatively a voiceover artist can be hired. The media is then combined on standard video editing software and a ‘video’ is born.
Advantages of a photo-film
It is cheaper to produce than normal web video.
Involves a smaller crew which is less disruptive for the client.
As the sound is recorded separately it can be captured in a recording booth. This greatly improves the sound of the audio.
The images used to create the photo-film can also be supplied for other applications such as print or online publication.
Do get in touch if you would like to know more about photo-films or web video on email@example.com