Technical Photography (TP) 2017-06-21T20:21:09+00:00

Technical Photography (TP)

Technical Photography (TP) represents a collection of images realized with a modified digital camera sensitive to the spectral range 360-1000 nm.. Different lighting sources and filters are used to acquire a selection of technical images:

Visible (VIS)
Art examination starts with a high-quality photographic documentation in the standard visible range of the electromagnetic spectrum.  Color camera calibration, exposure correction, white balance,  sharpness. color checkers, resolution. These are some of the topics to master in order to obtain quality photo documentation of art objects and archaeology. Polarized light photography (PL) and Raking light photography (RAK) are very helpful photographic methods widely used by fine arts photographers and they also belong to the visible range of the spectrum.


Ultraviolet Fluorescence (UVF)
Some Art and conservation materials (pigments, binders, varnishes, consolidants, adhesive…)  exhibit the emission of visible light of different colors when they are exposed to ultraviolet radiation. This phenomenon – called ultraviolet fluorescence – can be appropriately documented using proper filters and UV lamps and provide a lot of information on the presence and distribution of these materials. Among the technical photographic methods, UVF is the most widely used for many kinds of artifacts,  paintings, textiles, paper conservation, historical documents, stone, even photography conservation.

Reflected Ultraviolet (UVR)
The main application of this methods is to identify and map modern white pigments (zinc white and titanium white) which absorb UV radiation and appear dark in UVR photography. On the other hand, the historical lead white pigment is a very good UV reflector and shows up very bright in UVR images. Lead white was used from antiquity to the 1920′ when the modern and safe titanium white totally replaced it.  UVR photography is a very effective method to tell the presence of inpaints made with modern white over original lead white.

Infrared (IR)
Some pigments become transparent in the near infrared and infrared photography can reveal underdrawing and changes. in particular ochre pigments (yellow ochre, red ochre, raw sienna…) and red and yellow lakes are the ones that become more transparent totally revealing traces of hidden drawing.

Infrared False Color (IRFC)
Infrared False Color photography (IRFC) is used to map inpaints and to tentatively identify pigments or at least distinguish original paints from inpaints. Even if the original pigments and the modern ones used for the conservation treatment have the same visible color and cannot be distinguished by naked eye,  IRFC photography can reveal the new paints if they reflect or absorb infrared differently than the original ones.  


Infrared Fluorescence (IRF)

Transmitted Infrared photography (IRT)


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Publications on Technical Photography
A. Cosentino “ A practical guide to Panoramic Multispectral Imaging" e-Conservation Magazine, 25, 64–73, 2013.
A. Cosentino “Ipad e tablet per l’indagine mul­ti­spet­trale di opera d’arte” Archeo­mat­ica, 2, 6–10, 2013.
A. Cosentino, M. Gil, M. Ribeiro, R. Di Mauro "Technical Photography for mural paintings: the newly discovered frescoes in Aci Sant’Antonio (Sicily, Italy)” Conservar Património 20, 23–33, 2014.
S. Stout, A. Cosentino, C. Scandurra “Non-invasive materials analysis using Portable X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) in the Examination of Two Mural Paintings in the Catacombs of San Giovanni, Syracuse” Digital Heritage. Progress in Cultural Heritage: Documentation, Preservation, and Protection, M. Ioannides et al. (Eds.): EuroMed 2014, LNCS 8740, 697–705, 2014.
A. Cosentino, S. Stout "Pho­to­shop and Mul­ti­spec­tral Imag­ing for Art Doc­u­men­ta­tion” e-Preservation Sci­ence, 11, 91–98, 2014.
A. Cosentino, M.C. Caggiani, G. Rug­giero, F. Salvem­ini “Panoramic Mul­ti­spec­tral Imag­ing: Train­ing and Case stud­ies” Bel­gian Asso­ci­a­tion of con­ser­va­tors Bul­letin, 2nd Trimester, 7–11, 2014.
A. Cosentino “Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of pig­ments by mul­ti­spec­tral imag­ing a flow­chart method” Her­itage Sci­ence, 2:8, 2014.
A. Cosentino, S. Stout, R di Mauro, C. Perondi “The Crucifix Chapel of Aci Sant’Antonio: Newly Discovered Frescoes” Archeomatica, 2, 36–42, 2014.
A. Cosentino “Practical notes on ultraviolet technical photography for art examination” Conservar Património 21, 53-62, 2015.
A. Cosentino "Effects of Different Binders on Technical Photography and Infrared Reflectography of 54 Historical Pigments” International Journal of Conservation Science, 6 (3), 287-298, 2015.
A. Cosentino "Indagine diagnostica multispettrale sugli affreschi” in "La Nunziatella sopra Mascali", ed. G. Buda. Soprintendenza ai BB.CC e Ambientali di Catania. Palermo, 2015.
A. Cosentino, C. L. Koch Dandolo, A. Cristaudo, P. Uhd Jepsen "Pre and post Conservation Diagnostic on a 14th Century Gilded Icon from Taormina, Sicily
e-Conservation Journal, 3, 27-40, 2015.
A. Cosentino "Infrared Technical Photography for Art Examination” e-Preservation Science, 13, 1-6, 2016.
A. Cosentino "Scientific examination of Cultural Heritage raises awareness in local communities” Science Education and Civil Engagement, 8:1, 15-20, 2016.
A. Cosentino, M. Sgarlata, C. Scandurra, S. Stout, M. Galizia, C. Santagati “Multidisciplinary investigations on the byzantine oratory of the Catacombs of Saint Lucia in Syracuse” 2015 Digital Heritage, Granada, 137-140, 2015.
A. Cosentino, Giovanni Calvagna, Giuseppe Calvagna, C. Calvagna, C. L. Dandolo, P. Uhd Jepsen “L’Annunciazione ritrovata. Nunziata di Mascali, Sicilia” Archeomatica 1, 44-48 2016.