Wednesday, 19 December 2007

All I want for xmas

Following yesterdays visit to the NG (see below) I realised what I am looking for in a new mousemat (which I need). I want a GretagMacbeth colour chart mousemat. Of course, they dont exist, and with good reason, as the colours printed out would be no use for colour benchmarking - but conceptually, it will be very amusing.

The RGB values are available online, so I'll probably make up an image and get it sent off to photobox for printing out mousematty wise, for my xmas present to self. I'm easy pleased, eh?

Alternatives would be this hexagonal web safe colour mousemat (although web safe colours? meh!) from Visibone. I am of course obsessed with the rug which is available from John Lewis at the moment of the different sample colours that their rugs can be made in - which has become a surprise best seller for them. Beautiful. We'll have to measure up at home...

Out and About

One of the drawbacks of teaching something like digitisation at University level, is that although you tend to be able to keep up with the theory and the recommendations, you dont really have time to get involved with projects yourself, or to see how things are still progressing in the real world very often. I suspect this is a problem common to most lecturers, and its important to, now and then, see how "those who can do" are doing things.

Yesterday, I was really lucky to be given a behind the scenes tour of the digitisation workflow at the National Gallery, London. Colin White, from the photography department, spent some time showing me around the various studios, archive, offices, and talking through the process of capturing and disseminating digital images of the collection.

Interesting insights? The emphasis on consistency of the images - rigourously benchmarked and checked - and the close relationships between the digitisation team, the print on demand service, and those developing new and novel ways to explore and examine the collection. It was also interesting to see how many dedicated staff there were looking after the relatively concise collection - making sure things were done properly, for posterity. I have to say, of all the projects I've seen round, they are really taking on board issues of workflow and quality and grappling with the issues of image veracity that we all are in this digital age. It was a really useful day for me, and thanks to the team for showing me round.

Now I'm looking forward to the redesign of their webpage, which should be happening later next year!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Santa putting children's information at risk

From the Register -

Kriss Kringle failing to comply with data protection laws

Enjoy. [link]

Monday, 10 December 2007

Is Photography Dead?

Thought provoking article in Newsweek about the rise of the digital and the demise of the medium
We live in a culture dominated by pixels, increasingly unmoored from corpor-eal reality. Movies are stuffed with CGI and, in such "performance animation" films as "Beowulf," overwhelmed by them. Some big pop-music hits are so cyberized the singer might as well be telling you to press 1 if you know your party's exten-sion. Even sculpture has adopted digital "rapid prototyping" technology that allows whatever a programmer can imagine to be translated into 3-D objects in plastic. Why should photography be any different? Why shouldn't it give in to the digital temptation to make every landscape shot look like the most absolutely beautiful scenery in the whole history of the universe, or turn every urban view into a high-rise fantasy?


Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Oh Dear

According to the Blog Readability Test, you have to have a somewhat high IQ to make sense of my rantings:


Is that necessarily a bad thing? Maybe I should make it my new years resolution to dumb down...