Training a young conservation scientist

Silvia Amato is a young conservation scientist. She has been a follower of the “Cultural Heritage Science Open Source” blog and she decided to take the training in multispectral imaging. My goal is to deliver to the professionals I am working with a program that is shaped specifically on their educational background and their goals. This is the reason I prefer to coach just one student with a full-immersion schedule.  This format allows me to discuss what the students want to get from this training and what their experiences are. Indeed, it is very different to work with a young scientist, such as Silvia, or an established conservator. Where the first has a savvy experience with software and computers, the other has an extensive experience with art materials and techniques.  Then, my second goal is to offer to the students who leave my studio the opportunity to keep learning by following the educational posts, categorized by topics, on the training page of the blog. Last, the third goal is to meet up in my studio, in Sicily, with extraordinary and passion-driven professionals. With Silvia, we discussed and implemented, based on her needs and interests, a 3 days program.

1st day

An introduction to the Nikon D800 modified for full-spectrum (ultraviolet, visible and infrared photography), the photographic equipment for art documentation (filters, reversible tripod, remote shutter, remote speedlights) and Adobe Camera Raw for the editing of raw images. After this intro to the photographic workflow, she learned and practiced the RTI (Reflectance Transformation Imaging) method for art documentation.

silvia amato

Silvia practicing RTI documentation with speedlights and the Nikon D800 mounted on a reversed tripod.


2nd day

This day was dedicated to the series of multispectral imaging methods and their rel­a­tive hard­ware and soft­ware tools.

VIS, vis­i­ble and RAK, Rak­ing light Photography

UVF, Ultra­vi­o­let Flu­o­res­cence Pho­tog­ra­phy

UVR, Ultra­vi­o­let Reflected Pho­tog­ra­phy

IR, Infrared Pho­tog­ra­phy

IRT, Infrared Transmitted

IRF, Infrared Flu­o­res­cence Pho­tog­ra­phy

IRFC, Infrared False Color

silvia amato multispectral imaging

Silvia acquiring a sequence of of multispectral images.


3rd day

The last day was devoted at providing basic info on infrared reflectography IRR and how to produce IRR images with the panoramic method. They were introduced the software tools for high resolution art documentation by Panoramic imaging for both multispectral imaging and IRR (panoramic head, Gigapan server, PTGUI Stitching software, Arduino).

silvia amato multispectral imaging calibration

Silvia doing white balance of raw images on Adobe Camera Raw.

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  1. s. manrique May 19, 2014 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    hello, i follow your blog with great interest. i am a conservator and I have some experience with rti but would like to learn more about other imaging techniques, similar to what you are showing on this particular post. would you please provide me with some information about training opportunities with you? thank you!

    • antonino May 20, 2014 at 11:41 am - Reply

      Hi, please give a look at this link
      there you’ll find most of the info to have an idea about the traing programs. Let me know if something is not that clear. In any case feel free to give me a call on skype or cell phone to discuss your specific needs.

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