Blog

Light Night opening of the Book of the Dead exhibition

After numerous hours in the photographic suite, many more vying with Photoshop, followed by several weeks of nail biting, hoping my photos would make the grade, finally, we got there. The Book of the Dead exhibition opened at the Garstang on 19 May 2017 as part of Liverpool Light Night.

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The new Egyptian galleries at the World Museum

On Friday, 28 April 2017 at 9.45 am, I was sitting outside the World Museum in Liverpool waiting impatiently for it to open. Why? It was the official opening of the newly refurbished and expanded Egyptian galleries we’d been waiting nearly two years to see.

I headed straight up to the third floor with my trusty camera in hand. Even before getting into the galleries, I was impressed.

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featured image for repairing papyri blog post

Repairing papyri in Photoshop

Using Photoshop to repair papyrus that have sustained damage is a technique I’ve used for several images featured in the Book of the Dead exhibition. This blog post explains why the sheets of papyri are damaged and how I bring them back together in Photoshop.

The process of repairing papyri
So, what is it I’m doing when I’m repairing papyri? The purpose is to pull together and realign broken sections. The example I’m using here is from a copy of the Amduat from the Garstang Museum. The Amduat was a funerary text whose contents showed the nighttime journey of the sun-god through the underworld. This particular copy belonged to a lady called Tjaty from the 21st Dynasty of ancient Egypt (1077–943 BC).

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At the Garstang: first session photographing the Book of the Dead

Last week, I had my first proper session in the photographic suite. I spent the day in near darkness, photographing a couple of pages from the Book of the Dead.

But why were you in near darkness?, I hear you cry. Because of my arch-nemesis: reflections.

The papyri are encased in sheets of glass, which were cleaned beautifully by some of the museum interns before I photographed them. However, the now extra-clean glass was was extra shiny, and therefore extra reflective. Although the walls and ceiling in the suite are painted black, even low amounts of light were reflecting off the light fittings in the ceiling back down onto the glass.

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At the Garstang: setting up photographic equipment and taking some test shots

I had my first session at the Garstang on Wednesday. It wasn’t a proper session, per se, but one for reviewing logistics and taking a few test shots. My first project with the museum is to photograph some papyri for Gina, so I wanted to test out my photographic equipment on them. I also got to go down to the photographic suite and see how the equipment there could compliment/enhance what I already have.

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Photographing Egyptology at the Garstang Museum

The Garstang Museum of Archaeology is the departmental museum for the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool. The university’s where I studied Egyptology, so it’s a place close to my heart.

I’m so excited to share with you that I’m going to be getting my hands dirty at the Garstang with some photographic projects. The curator, Dr Gina Criscenzo Laycock, and I studied for our Masters together, so it’s been really great to catch up with an old friend and get the opportunity to start this project.

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featured image for the google noto hieroglyphs blog post

Google Noto: a font collection with hieroglyphs

In a quest to try to harmonise the ever-disparate collection of technologies that we use to connect on the internet, Google have developed what may be the most comprehensive collection of typefaces yet. Under the umbrella name of Google Noto, the aim of the collection is to include every unicode symbol ever (for free).

They say:

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‘Animal Mummies Revealed’ at the World Museum: behind the scenes

Having completed its stint at Glasgow, the Animal Mummies Revealed exhibition opened on 14 October 2016 at the World Museum in Liverpool. I visited the exhibition when it was on at the Manchester Museum last year, and was really looking forward to following it up again at the World Museum and seeing how it looked in a different exhibition space.

Curator Ashley Cooke very kindly arranged for me to come in for a couple of hours while the exhibition was being set up to get a few behind-the-scenes photos to share with you all. It really was just a snapshot of a small part of a process that had taken several weeks, but what I saw was just fascinating.

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