We started on 10th October setting up and starting with the first item – a stitched cushion.
For the first day we tried four different backgrounds to see which worked best. Ultimately most things will be done on a mid-grey tone, however anything with fringes and “holes” work better on black as the holes and fringe show up better.
Occasionally something breaks those principles, however the majority work on those principles.
The first couple of days was slow progress as we talked through items and what needed doing with the photographer, Ian Lillicrapp. Ian has worked on several digitisation projects including textiles. He is learning very quickly what we want included in our photos. Sometimes that includes the back of the work, and obviously close-ups to see stitching etc.
Since then, we’ve ramped up and are now averaging 40 items per day. We can’t take photos every day as each set of photos need processing by Ian to ensure background, colour balance etc are right and, where needed, to stitch photos together.
The reason for this is that taking all of an item in one go may not be physically possible, or we need all of an item in focus and taking several shots and piecing them together is the best way. E.g. the bull in one of the photos.
The results are stunning for the ones we have had back. I am now looking to work on getting them loaded to a website so you and anyone else can see them. The intention is to have them alongside other works of art on a site that hosts a variety of collections.
I’m able to share a couple of photos – the blue cushion was the first item out of the first box. The bull is one of my favourite items so far – he’s just so cute. Note he is in focus from the tip of his nose to his tail. This is the benefit of using an experienced photographer.
Anne Haigh, Trustee
Please note these photos are copyright of the Embroiderers’ Guild and must not be shared, copied or used in any way without express permission of the Embroiderers’ Guild.
For details of the project, see our earlier news post: Digitising the Embroiderer’s Guild Collection