Friday, May 22, 2009

Digital surrogates (aka Photoshop for conservation)

Just heard Adam Novak's interesting talk about using digital surrogates as loss compensation in the print "Siege of La Rochelle" at the National Gallery of Art.

When to use digital surrogates instead of inpainting by hand:
*can make large time commitment
*area of loss is too large to reproduce by hand
*have access to a copy of same print

Sadly, he chose to use the magic wand tool instead of the much more accurate and powerful "Select Color Range" tool.



I appreciated that he showed each step of his image-altering and print-setup process. Also, he used 4 separate images of the same replacement print to create a "best fit" montage. On top of that, he also had to choose the right kind of paper to match the original print itself. I know from personal experience that this can be a royal pain in the tuchis. And then Golden acrylics came out with a Digital Ground for preparing materials to accept inkjet inks. Which unfortunately is soluble in water, but Golden is working on make a less-soluble version of their Digital Ground.

In the end, though, Novak created a more than acceptable surrogate without the use of the Digital Ground.

3 comments:

bethhellerconservation said...

I love that you used you suck at photoshop to illustrate. Nice blog. Mind if I add you to my blogroll?

Suzy said...

Sure! :)

Adam said...

Thanks for the notes on my talk, Suzy. I'm certainly no expert in Photoshop, and I'll certainly try that tool in the future! Always learning...!