Telling a story with photos: ceramics conservation for Before Egypt

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Artefact photography is just one aspect of what I do. Another, at the other end of the scale, is documentary photography.

Unlike my artefact photography, which is carefully controlled and thought out, documentary photography is about working with what you’ve got, and reacting to the moment. Your environment dictates the photography, rather than the photography dictating the environment.

What is focus stacking?

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Focus-stacking is a technique photographers use when they can’t get all of their subject in focus in a single shot. And it’s a technique that I use almost all the time for my artefact photography.

But, what do I mean by getting all your focus in one shot?I think everyone’s familiar with the idea of focus being about getting a sharp, not blurry, image.

However, various factors can affect how much of your photo is sharp.

Photographing Egyptian flint tools using a lightbox

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The photography I’ve been doing at the Garstang isn’t all amulets and papyrus. I’ve photographed a lot of pottery for the Before Egypt exhibition, which in itself has been a lot more fun than I thought it might be. However, I’ve also photographed another type of object for the first time for the exhibition: flint tools.

5 reasons you might be struggling with low-light photography

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When I asked people what they struggle with most when taking photographs in low light, the biggest issues are shaky/blurry photos, too much noise/grain and photos that are too dark. Sometimes, this is down to your hardware; other times, it’s just not quite knowing what to do with your camera. To improve your photography, the first step is to start understanding why your photos aren’t working so well in the first place.

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery: smartphone vs. camera

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At the start of the summer holidays 2018, we took the girls for our annual trip to Bath for them to spend some time with their grandparents. While we were there, I took the opportunity to have a trip to the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. It’d been a few years since my last trip and I wanted to get some photos to add to my collection.

Liverpool’s Egyptian-revival architecture: a photographer’s tour

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The month of May is Photo Month. As part of the month in 2018, I shared on Facebook and Twitter photos of Egyptian-revival architecture around Liverpool. The posts were popular, so I’ve put them all together here. For those interested in photographing them, I’ve included extra information on how I photographed them.

New toy time! The Fujifilm 80mm macro lens: first impressions

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Since its release in November 2017, I’ve been lusting after the Fujifilm 80mm macro lens. Touted as Fuji’s first ‘real’ macro lens (I explain why their other macro lens isn’t really considered a ‘proper’ macro below), it’s had some amazing reviews, and I’d been suffering lens envy until I was at last able to get mine in April 2018.

Travelling back to the time before the pharaohs: the Predynastic Period

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So, it’s a new year and I have a new project to get working on at the Garstang (hooray!). The museum’s next exhibition is planned for 2019 and shifts right back to the Predynastic Period; the time before the pharaohs. I don’t yet know what the detailed theme of the exhibition will be, though it is early days. What I do know, however, is that there’s a lot for me to be photographing, so my work’s already begun in earnest.

The goddess Isis: mother, magician, healer, wife

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The goddess Isis, along with Osiris, is probably one of the best known deities from ancient Egypt. The couple are synonymous with the seemingly mysterious, often-confusing religion. First attested in funerary texts from the pyramid of Unas (c. 2360 BC), Isis was the longest lived of the Egyptian pantheon. Her cult became dominant in the Greco-Roman period, with the goddess soaking up aspects of other goddesses including Hathor and Astarte until she became the ultimate, all-powerful deity. The last, and arguably most famous pharaoh, Cleopatra VII, often depicted herself as Isis.

Because her cult was adopted in Rome, it spread far outside of Egypt, sanctuaries being founded even as far north as London. Her temple at Philae was the last temple to close in Egypt in the 6th century AD after Christianity spread across the Roman Empire.

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