SOME USES OF A VIDEO CASSETTE RECORDER IN THE CONSERVATION LABORATORY
Alexander Katlan, Barbara Appelbaum, & Paul Himmelstein
4 ADVANTAGES OF THE VCR
- Large numbers of images can be recorded easily, with no need to move objects to a photographic studio. The pieces can be moved during recording, so that the total amount of information recorded is much greater than with any number of still photographs.
- The ease of operation and speed of recording allows a great deal of information to be recorded without interruption of the survey process. For use with infrared, the speed of recording makes it possible to record as a routine every painting that is scanned, including those which appear to have nothing of interest. There is no need to interpret images before deciding what to photograph. When paintings by a particular artist are being studied, even the absence of underdrawing on IR can be a useful piece of information.
- A voice recording can be recorded simultaneously with the recording of the image to identify the object and to explain what is being shown.
- A library of visible light and infrared images, similar to the libraries of x-radiographs that many museums have, can be easily built up. A great deal of information can be stored on one cassette, particularly compared to the space required to store corresponding numbers of photographic negatives and prints.
- A whole tape can be duplicated commercially, or with two tape machines.
- It is easy to compare a “freeze-frame” image on the monitor with a photographic print.
- It is a simple matter to include on the same tape an image of the artifact under normal illumination, or under raking light. For some legal purposes, it may be important to include a photograph of the painting being turned around to read the inscription. A single still photographic print may provide a reading of an inscription, but does not in itself indicate what painting it came from.