Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Shooting Bruce Pearson!

Bruce with a painting made on a yacht in choppy South Georgia seas!
  I spent the morning with venerable wildlife artist Mr Bruce Pearson, shooting the large format images for his incredibly beautiful, upcoming book on Albatrosses. I've been scanning the small and medium sized work on my Heidelberg and Microtek machines for Bruces' publisher, Langford Press. However, there were a handful of paintings too large to fit on any scanner (even our A1 Cruse flat-bed scanner) but which required the best possible level of capture. I have an extensive range of high-end facilities and expertise at my disposal, and can capture ANY type of artwork with an exceedingly high degree of sophistication.

Les Goodey LRPS
We shot Bruce's images using a medium format camera with a 60 megapixel digital back.
Phase One 60 megapixel single-shot camera
 This is around £25,000 worth of camera and lens. It's patched directly to a Mac-Pro and a calibrated monitor so that the images can be instantly checked as we shoot. We can also fire the camera from the Mac (or a cable release), to eliminate camera movement. The resulting digital file is an 11"x17" 600dpi Tiff. Everything is shot with a colour separation guide in the frame so I can carry out any colour balancing back at the press if necessary. The resolution of these digital files far exceeds that required for publishing purposes (commercial offset lithography is 300dpi), but it resolves the very finest colour and tone balance. It also gives Bruce the option to make full size digital prints (giclee) on our 24", 44" and 60" ink-jet printers.

Book jacket oil painting
 We shot 9 images today - 7 large watercolours and 2 oil paintings, most of which exceeded A0 (849mmx1189mm). We have the capacity to shoot artwork of virtually any size, and can shoot on location if necessary. With the camera set up in this instance we can easily shoot work as large as the cream backing board you can see on the blue cabinets.

Bruce mounting a small oil painting

Les setting up the capture software
The lighting rig is as impressive as the camera, resulting in the most wonderful balance of colour and tone.

Medium format rig with 45 megapixel camera
 In addition the photographic equipment at the studio, we have an A1 Cruse scanner - a truly phenomenal piece of equipment which will capture the most incredible level of detail in any piece of artwork - even with a heavy gloss varnish or in a glazed frame, without any glare (what else would you expect from a German high-end machine costing £200,000?). We also have an A2 Zeutschel overhead scanner which makes neat work to 600dpi of virtually anything you put under it.

I'll be back in the studio next Monday to shoot a further 10 pieces of work by a well known Chinese artist which is going to be turned into a series of elaborate editioned woodcuts by James Hill at St Barnabas Press.

If you're interested in finding out more about high-end digital capture, please do drop me a line.

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