As The Munday Wall progresses we will be interviewing people involved with each stage of the project, and asking them to share some insight into how they have completed their component.
First up we have Tony Nathan from IMAGELAB, who will take us through the photographing the artwork using his unique Hasselblad camera.
The Hasselblad H4D-50MS is an impressive piece of kit. Would you mind explaining a bit about your workflow for this job and how the H4D-50MS operates?
The H4D-50MS shoots 4 frames and combines them to give a very high resolution image. Because the camera shifts the sensor by 1 pixel between each exposure it is able to capture true colour for each pixel on the sensor, however most of the time the camera is used exactly the same way as you would use any other camera. ImageLab is in process of upgrading the camera to the 200MS model which means a six shot capture of 200 megapixels per image. At this level of capture the project would have been able to be digitised in the one capture eliminating the need for image to be shot in a number of sections.
Were there any particular areas of the Munday Wall artwork that required special care during reproduction?
The artwork was needed to be reproduced at an extremely large size, and that meant getting more resolution than the camera was capable of with one capture. The solution in this case was to shoot the artwork is several (6) sections and then sew the images back together in photoshop. A special easel was used that allowed the artwork to move relative to the camera (this allowed artwork to be moved and the camera angles and perspectives to remain constant).
How do you manage the colour correction? Are the colours straight out of the camera true to the artwork?
The way that the camera captures the image means that the colours are very near to original artwork. All of the equipment that is used is profiled and this keeps colour consistent, but the files that the Hasselblad generates combined with the profiling means that the file is so clean and accurate that in most cases no adjustments are necessary.
Have you worked with art reproduction with the intent to enlarge to this size before? Has the scale presented any challenges?
The previous largest files generated were for the Bunbury Cathedral windows with individual images sizes of 7 x 3.5m. The Cooling Brothers Munday wall is roughly 9 x 8 m which means at least four times as much resolution. The main problems with working with this scale is that you have to be very accurate in the way you manage things, as tiny errors easily get magnified. Working new technology and in new processes by definition always presents unknown problems, the fun is in the way we have to think up solutions to these challenges, and is the second best part of the job. The best part is seeing people say WOW!
IMAGELAB is a perth based creative studio specialising in Photography, Art Reproduction & Digitisation, Design & Printing.
To find out more visit www.imagelabstudio.com.au