Cultural Heritage Imaging

The World of Cultural Heritage

The Cultural Heritage world is diverse, with many different needs and challenges. For this reason Phase One offers modular and configurable solutions, which can be tailored to specific needs.

The need for digitization is rapidly growing, with increasing focus on public access, research and preservation of information for the future.The history of Cultural Heritage photography is as long-standing as photography itself.

Changing from analog based film processing to digitally based media has introduced a completely new range of applications, and the possibility to share the material with a much broader audience, while significantly increasing the reproduction quality.

Preserving the past for the future is often a race against time, as much of the material has a limited lifespan before it is gone forever, thus solutions that enable rapid capture are not only necessary but often crucial.

Cultural Heritage Collection Types and Applications

Archives and Manuscripts

Documents, drawings, maps, manuscripts, photos, newspapers, musical scores, letters, post cards, and other flat objects in all sizes and shapes.

This type of work often requires a “set and forget” workflow where the camera and software are set up so that large numbers of flat objects can be recorded quickly while maintaining high resolution and accurate, consistent color and luminosity.

The high resolution of the Phase One Digital Backs allows capturing several smaller objects at the same time, thus increasing speed and efficiency.

Rare Books Archiving

A large part of the Cultural Heritage community works on digitization of rare and delicate bound materials, such as books. Digitization of books often requires special attention to the binding, that can be fragile, and will determine how the material can be treated in the process. This fact can sometimes be the limiting factor when looking for fast capture turnaround.

Uniform lighting will typically be the choice of operation here, and will often be the same throughout when working with reflective material.

Transparent Film and Glass Plate Negatives

Vintage glass plate negatives, medium and large format negatives, transparencies, including 35mm mounted slides, microfilm and all other transparent material.

Uniform illumination of the materials with good color reproduction is mandatory so that all color information may be retrieved during processing, sometimes involving inverting the image from negative to positive.

There is a tremendous speed advantage in the instant medium format capture over scanning, which may speed up the process by a factor of 300 or more.

Fine Art Reproduction

3D and large flat objects such as sculptures, pottery, decorative arts and paintings, are often captured from a tripod in the photo studio or in the gallery and exhibition halls, ideally with uniform lighting to suit the object’s character and the curator’s requirement.

A whole range of different lighting can be used, from flash-based to continuous light to mixed light or even natural daylight. Best results are always obtained by using medium format camera solutions; either based on an SLR-type, or view cameras with tilt & shift movements.

Multi-Spectral Imaging

Multi-spectral lighting systems, in conjunction with the use of narrow- band optical filters and special image processing can be utilized to retrieve and discover information in materials that have been subject to damage or decay that is invisible under normal lighting conditions. This provides invaluable data for the research and conservation processes.

Phase One offers a number of unique camera solutions capable of capturing wide-spectrum color, as well as narrow-band achromatic images.

Special Digitization Projects

Many cultural heritage objects that are fragile or sensitive due to various types of damage and decay are often very sensitive to human touch and thus require careful handling. Using high resolution, high precision cameras and optics allow researchers and scholars to perform non-invasive investigation and analysis with minimal or no exposure to aggressive light rays or chemicals, and bring out data that cannot be retrieved with traditional imaging techniques.

3D scanning combined with advanced photogrammetry and image analysis and calculation tools are used for measuring and evaluation of damage in historical objects. The same technology is used for creating exact replicas of precious sculptures and art work. The high resolution of Phase One cameras and the high quality and precision of the optics provide the basis for systems that are considerably faster than other scanning solutions.

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