A Day at the FAMSF Photo Studio

Amazing art comes through the photo studio on a regular basis.
We tend to save Mondays (when we’re closed to the public) to photograph artworks that are normally installed in the galleries. This way we can take the objects out of the galleries and into the photo studio without impacting the public.
Recently we shot two recent acquisitions from the AOA department. The images will appear in the next edition of the museums' Fine Arts magazine.
The first object: Mayan plate with Maize God head in cacao tree and "kill hole" passage to the afterlife

Lesley Bone, our objects conservator, deinstalling the plate in the morning.

The plate waiting for its appointment under the photographer’s lights. Our mount maker quickly soldered together (and painted) the mount this morning (sitting next to the plate). He made the mount specifically for the photo shoot.

The plate being carefully installed on the photo table.

Joe McDonald, our photographer, adjusting the lights.

The plate sits safely on the table, the mount is practically invisible.

We use a photography system that allows Joe to view the image on his laptop instantly. Very helpful in terms of getting the shot just right.
The Second object we shot today: African musical instrument, lute-harp

Our objects conservator, Lesley Bone, and the curator, Kathy Berrin, discuss the upcoming shoot.

The Lute under the lights

Our photographer, Joe McDonald, taking the shot

One of the final images on Joe’s laptop.
The next step in the process is photoshop work on the images. And then they’re off to the Fine Arts magazine designer who will work them into the layout.

(You can see larger versions of all the above images in our Flickr slideshow here.)

-Lesley Bone, Objects Conservator