Artifact Photo Scales

After coming across friend and colleague Colleen Morgan's post about artifact photo scales, I thought I'd throw in my two cents on the subject.

Scales in archaeological photography are an ongoing curiosity for me. As necessary as they are to give a sense of size to the photos' subject, it so often appears that little attention is given to their proportion and composition in the photograph. It's as if a larger and more dominant scale is meant to give the image more scientific weight and credibility. But to me, photos taken in this matter reflect a lack of care and attention to detail, that ends up distracting from the artifact's representation. Maybe my photographic eye is being too hyper-critical, but I would say a little extra attention to the details of scale size and placement can make a big difference in how the arifact photo is viewed and appreciated down the line.

To help in this endeavor, here's a scale template I've made in Adobe Illustrator which you can print out on photo paper and cut out for use.


Download: Scales.pdf

Zamalek Flattened

Zamalek Flattened

Zamalek Flattened, originally uploaded by jpquinlan.

I took this shot while wandering through Zamalek last week. I was originally just trying to shoot the apartment building in the distance, but then found my eye trailing back and forth along these intersecting building perspective slants. I like the way the depth of distance is flattened into crossing patterns that very much match in their color. This is not a hard thing to do in this city, since most of Cairo architecture is covered by this same grit of earth tones. This mix of flatness and perspective seems to give it a slight Escheresque quality.

Testing SPi-V Panorama Viewer with Flickr

Giza Pyramids

Giza Pyramids, originally uploaded by djsnapshot.

Just discovered this great tool to render equirectangular photos much like Quicktime VR's. I had been wondering if Flickr's new ability to post photos might also enable the possibility to post QTVR's directly within the site. That doesn't seem to be the case, but SPi-V seems like a great substitute. I'm quite impressed!

Have a look at the interactive viewer here.

(Requires Adobe Shockwave)