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Earlier this month, Library staff directly involved in acquiring digital photography for the State Library's collection took part in a hands on and intensive digital photography primer.
Led by Digital Collections Analyst, Matthew Burgess, the two consecutive training sessions covered everything from digital cameras, technical specifications, post-production processing, uploading, assessing metadata and weighing up the ideal file format for the Library's needs.
We were guided through the everchanging technical minefield and terminology that is collecting digital photography for archival purposes in a large cultural institution like the State Library. We looked at previous examples in the collection and discussed ideal characteristics of future acquisitions.
The highlight for our team was the very enjoyable short practical exercise set in Sydney's very own beautiful backyard - the Royal Botanic Garden. We were tasked with taking a variety of photos in both RAW and JPEG formats, using different white balance settings and different exposures in order to process them later using Adobe Bridge and Camera Raw.
Back in the Library, we uploaded our photos and began processing them in a variety of ways using Adobe Bridge. By adjusting and analysing the images and metadata for each photograph, it allowed us to better understand the correlation between our preferred technical specifications and the impact that file format and other choices have on the final image.
Importantly for our team these sessions gave us the solid understanding and confidence in balancing what to look out for and what to clarify when liaising with photographers, in order to ensure we make the best choices for the robustness of the Library's digital photography collection.
- Written by Maria Savvidis
Photographs by Joy Lai