Archive Fieldtrips and Finicky Lightboxes

After being in contact with representatives from the National Library of Ireland (NLI) Photographic Archives over the past week or so, and visiting last Friday, it’s finally time for Caoimhe and myself to get copies of the negatives we’ll need for some of the exhibition details.

The one good thing about our project versus others is that because we’re not working off plans and images within 3ds Max, but instead just as reference material, we’ve a bit more leeway as to the quality of copies we need, and the equipment we need to bring into Dublin to get them. So Caoimhe and I headed to the archives armed with our iPhones and a list of things we needed to capture (and, considering my role as the unofficial excel master, a very detailed list at that).

For the most part the pictures we got will be brilliant to reference, especially once we start putting final touches on our model. The archive had several glass negatives, negative copies, and lithographs that we’ll be making use of, in particular a group of negatives detailing the Winter Garden’s stage area, balcony, and ceiling. In a stroke of good fortune, the NLI online database¬†had already digitized the negative of the Winter Garden’s south face, giving us the greatest amount of detail possible for the structural elements needed when Caoimhe and I begin our model.

In a slightly more difficult turn of events the fact that these were negatives, and not pictures or lithographs warranted the use of a lightbox – not the best thing when you’re trying to capture images unless you want multicolour flash lines through your image. But word to the wise? Piece of printer paper in between and you’re set, and we got our captures without issues.

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