YGT's Photographers Attend International Conference in Amsterdam

May 2019


Senior conservators and conservation photographers Nick Teed ACR and Anna Milsom CTQ have attended a major sold-out international conference organised by the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, in cooperation with the Association for Historical and Fine Art Photography (AHFAP). '2D and 3D Photography: Practice and Prophecies', held in Amsterdam from the 8-10 May 2019, is a three-day conference that focuses on developing and maintaining international standards for cutting-edge photography technologies. Topics include science, daily practice, 3D applications for cultural heritage, colour management and workflow management. Many of the best photographers in the world were in attendance. The team from YGT, regarded as among the leaders in stained glass photography, are exploring exciting new techniques to use in order to better document and record stained glass.   

The opening keynote presentation was given by HRH Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, who is honorary chair of the Prince Claus Fund, a charitable organisation that gives emergency assistance in order to preserve cultural heritage following natural disasters, acts of war, or terrorism. The recent devastating fire at Notre Dame has given all in the field a stark reminder of the need to ensure that those responsible for the care and management of cultural heritage make adequate, detailed records in case of disaster.  

The two days of presentations gave Nick and Anna a dizzying insight into global projects using both 2D and 3D technologies and in methods of archiving and presenting digital information to a wider audience in ever more sophisticated, but accessible, ways. Key speakers included Scott Geffert, manager of Advanced Imaging at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Roy Berns, professor of colour science at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Robert Erdmann, senior scientist at the Rijksmuseum. Both Erdmann and his colleague Carola van Wijk, staff photographer at the Rijksmuseum, gave conference delegates a fascinating preview of a groundbreaking new project involving the photography of Rembrandt's 'Night Watch'. This summer, the painting will remain on display in the gallery while the photographic team create what is probably the highest resolution image of a painting ever recorded. Many hundreds of individual photographs will be taken and stitched together using specially developed software capable of coping with the demands of the project. Images will be taken in a range of light frequencies, and x-ray fluorescent information will be gathered to assess the chemical composition of the paints and previous conservation materials. The photographic analysis will be used to determine a programme of conservation, which will also be carried out in full view in the gallery. The final day of workshops gave attendees the chance to see the Rijksmuseum photographers in action.  

Nick was sponsored to attend by a Tru View grant from the Institute of Conservation (ICON). Anna's attendance was supported by the Anna Plowden Trust. The YGT would like to express their gratitude to these organisations.     

For further information, details of the conference can be found on their dedicated website here, and a write-up and copy of the presentations can be found here.

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