News archive – 2011

Terry Dennett and Jo Spence
Terry Dennett describes the latest developments for the archive he has curated for many years.

November 2011
Terry Dennett at SPACE gallery
Our President, Terry Dennett, is displaying some of his preoccupations at the SPACE gallery, Mare Street, E8 until 17 December

SPACE Gallery website

October 2011
Annual Conference in London
The association’s annual conference will be held on the premises of Westminster Roman Catholic Cathedral in London on Thursday 10 November. Please see the 2011 conference tab for details.

Events in Norway
The association has sent sympathy and condolences on behalf of the membership to our colleagues in Norway following the recent tragic events there.

This gesture was warmly and gratefully received with the observation also that, ‘In times when political extremists are committing acts of terror, it is more necessary than ever to keep up international contacts.’

July 2011
2011 UK Conference date & venue announced
We are pleased to announce the date and venue for the 2011 UK Conference is 10th November at Westminster Cathedral, please check our 2011 UK Conference page for details as they become available.

Ron Brooker
Ron Brooker, who worked with the Imperial War Museum from 1974-99, ultimately as Chief Photographer in the Photograph Archive at the IWM All Saints Annexe, died on 28 June 2011 after a short battle with bone marrow cancer.  Ron was not only a great person to work with and a calming influence but also a solid friend and enthusiastic mentor with always a keen interest in what you were doing. In this tradition he was a very keen supporter of AHFAP. In fact he was active, in its early days, in establishing and publicising the association. After he retired in 1999, he spent 3 years at Art College achieving an honours degree in his second love, Fine Art, and continued to paint, take photographs and teach young people.

The association sends its deepest sympathy and condolences to his family, who will be holding a funeral at the Guildford Crematorium at 11am on Wednesday 20 July 2011.  Please contact Greg Smith on 020 7416 5356 as soon as possible if you wish to go so that arrangements can be put into place and attendees can be confirmed. Guildford Crematorium: New Pond Road Godalming Surrey GU7 3DB

International Workshop in Norway on Early Colour Photography
One of this year’s Brighton conference delegates, Nils Torske, is hosting a workshop in September. Download the MS Word document below for more details.

International Workshop at Stiklestad National Culture Centre, Norway (MS Word, 29kb)

See also the Stiklestad National Culture Centre website

International Confernce Report
The first international Association for Historical and Fine Art Photography conference was held at the Brighton Metropole Hilton between 14 and 16 June, sponsored by Hasselblad and Nikon. There were over 80 delegates attending, representing 11 countries and 44 museums, galleries and cultural institutions, and speakers from Europe, Australia, Israel, North and South America. In AHFAP’s 25 year history this is the first time a truly international meeting has taken place rather than with usual cultural partners such as the USA and, more lately, China.

Delegates expressed pleasure and surprise at the range of topics covered, from the painstaking reconstruction of the studio of a photographic pioneer to the latest developments in achieving universally accepted standards, from the problems of digital storage to sheer enjoyment of the high-quality images presented.

It is hoped that the conference will stimulate wider, mutually beneficial co-operation between fine art photographers around the world. One of the highlights was a proposal for a new ISO colour management system which was presented for the first time at Brighton by Hans van Dormolen from Koninklijke Bibliotheek in the Netherlands. Systems used at present are generally similar in principle but the new one, devised in the Netherlands and developed by the Centre for Digital Imaging in New York, goes further and promises to achieve maximum tonal and colour accuracy, which is good news for fine art reproduction. The system is at present used at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
David Clarke
Head of Photography Tate

June 2011
AHFAP JISCMail group
We now have a JISCMail discussion group in addition to our discussion forum. Go to our Discussion Forum page for more information.

The first AHFAP International Conference
The first AHFAP International Conference in Brighton has now closed, it was a great success attracting a large number of international delegates. We would like to thank all the conference delegates for making the conference such a wonderfully informative and interesting conference. We are sure it has given delegates a lot to take back home with them and we hope it will create lasting links between the diverse range of cultural heritage institutions and their imaging staff. We wish our delegates a safe and happy journey home.

The first AHFAP International Conference has started!
The first AHFAP International Conference in Brighton is underway. We’d like to extend a warm welcome to all our conference delegates from around the world that are here in Brighton.

April 2011
The London College of Communication (LCC) part of the University of the Arts London, has closed its MSc/PGDip course in Digital Colour Imaging. The college says it is facing significant challenges in the current higher education environment in the UK, and has been forced to undertake major restructuring. The course is a casualty of this restructuring. The long-term future of its lecture staff, including the eminent Dr Phil Green is uncertain.

It seems a short-sighted view for the college to take considering we are supposed to be a ‘knowledge economy’ and one where so many imaging devices depend on the science taught on this course. A number of our colleagues in cultural heritage have benefited from this course and their workflows have been developed as a consequence. This is bad news for the imaging industry in the UK.

March 2011:
Conference Timetable is now available!

Go to our Conference Timetable page for full details

Special Offers from VisitBrighton for delegates
VisitBrighton have arranged for us some special deals on eating, shopping and attractions in Brighton, full details are on our About Brighton page.

Febuary 2011:
One-day Workshop for Cultural Heritage Professionals: Generating Digital Representations of Cultural Heritage Materials

Workshop delivered by Cultural Heritage Imaging at the Archaeological Computing Research Group, University of Southampton, UK

What you will learn
Different types of digital imaging techniques used today in a wide variety of museum, library, and documentary applications worldwide, including Museum/Library conservation and archaeological fieldwork An overview of how to capture and create RTI images Examples of RTI from different areas of cultural heritage and the natural sciences including museum objects, archaeological sites and artifacts, conservation usage, and paper collections Practical information about equipment, image capture setups, and software Who Should Attend Museum and Library professionals including photographic, conservation, and education staff.
Archaeologists, natural scientists, digital preservationists, and anyone who wants to learn about Reflectance Transformation Imaging and emerging digital imaging techniques.

Reflectance Transformation Imaging
Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) is an example of an emerging family of imaging techniques that can generate scientifically reliable ‘digital surrogates’ of ‘real world’ materials. This family extracts and analyses the information contained in digital photo sequences. This allows non-computer specialists to build information rich, scientifically reliable digital representations of cultural heritage materials and is a part of the growing field of computational photography.

RTI can generate digital representations that enable interactive relighting and viewing from any angle, the mathematical enhancement of surface features revealing object features that are difficult to discern even under direct physical examination. RTI digital surrogates enable remote scholarly study and public access. The same photo sequences provide the shape and colour information that enable the automatic algorithmic rendering of technical drawings from a selection of user configurable signal processing filters. Data acquisition is easy to learn, compatible with existing working cultures, and requires only affordable digital camera equipment. Based on internationally developed, open source and freely available software, RTI provides flexible, cost effective tools and methods for digital capture of a wide range of cultural heritage material. Optional, additionally acquired photo sequences provide the data for automatic camera calibration and 3D measurement.

All of the operations used to capture and create RTIs is saved and organized into a ‘digital lab notebook’. This lab notebook enables others to evaluate the quality and scientific reliability of the digital representation. It also aids future digital conservators in the information’s long-term preservation and future reuse for novel purposes.

The workshop will examine the configuration factors in various contexts that will lead to successful set up and capture of RTI’s and Algorithmic Renderings. Participants will learn through lectures and demonstration. Lectures will present state-of-the-art RTI and related technology including new advances and current research. In addition, the workshop will demonstrate the RTI processing pipeline.

The workshop will demonstrate RTI capture and processing techniques.
The workshop will also discuss equipment requirements and options for a range of budgets.

January 2011:
International Conference 2011

Professor David Arnold of Brighton will deliver the keynote address to this summer’s international conference in Brighton. He will discuss opportunities for the cultural heritage sector emerging from 3D imaging technology.

Professor Arnold was educated at Gonville and Caius College and submitted his PhD, ‘A Computer Model of Housing Layout’, to the Department of Architecture, at the University of Cambridge in 1978.

Arnold was a Senior Programmer for RNEC, Manadon, Plymouth (HMS Thunderer), and Scientific Assistant at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Thurleigh, Bedford. Later he was Research Assistant at the Centre for Land Use and Built Form Studies at the University of Cambridge, before lecturing in Computing Science at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, where he was promoted to full Professor in 1989. Since 2002 he has been Professor of Computing Science and Dean of the Faculty of Management and Information Sciences at the University of Brighton.

He is a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered Information Technology Professional and a Member of the ACM and ACM SIGGRAPH, Member of UK Computing Research Committee (UKCRC), Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS), and the EUROGRAPHICS Association.

He has been chair of programme committees for VAST, for CHIRON (Cultural Heritage Informatics Research Orientated Network) and co-ordinator of the EPOCH Network (Excellence in Processing Open Cultural Heritage). He is currently co-ordinator of the European Framework 7 integrating project 3D COFORM.

Kodachrome: 1935-2010
Kodachrome, the iconic film stock is now no more. Kodak stopped production of the film in 2009, but the very last lab, Dwayne’s Photo, Kansas USA, stopped handling the highly skilled processing of the film in December. For more on this story see this article on the New York Times website and the British Journal of Photography’s website.

When Kodak stopped annouced the production would stop the photographer and highly regarded user of Kodachrome, Steve McCurry, asked if he could have the very last roll. Kodak agreed and duly handed over the last roll, but at that point Steve had no idea what to use the last roll on. He thought long and hard and decided to revisit some of the most memorable locations where he had previously used the film. This resulted in a trip to India and the USA and some of the images can be found on his blog, the very last image poignantly, was of a graveyard in Kansas whilst Steve was on the way to Dwayne’s Photo. Steve McCurry shot the iconic ‘Afhgan Girl’ in the 1980’s on kodachrome and has over 800,000 kodachrome images in his library.