Tiny Egypt is a personal, self-directed project. Having spent time photographing objects, picking details out of papyri and shooting very tiny amulets with a macro lens, I’ve come to realised that there’s a whole tiny world there waiting to be discovered.

From previously unnoticed scribal errors to the amazing detail in amulets only a couple of centimetres big, I’ve been continuously surprised by what I’ve been finding with my macro lens. Using a macro lens not only allows you to see shape and form, it also helps highlight textures in the surface, cracking in the faience, inclusions, grains of Egyptian sand still remaining in crevices.

I like to light the objects unevenly, raking light across the pieces to help bring out these details in the surface and to give the pieces life. For example, in the gallery below is a green faience baboon. The lighting’s really brought out the texture in the surface meant to mimic the baboon’s coat.

Using a diagonal, raking light on the papyrus accentuates the actual papyrus itself, as well as details of the strokes of the scribes’ pens. Pages of funerary texts are often very busy and can be hard to fathom. I like to bring some sense of understanding by picking out important and interesting details that might otherwise be passed by.

My cut-off size for the project is around 15 cm. Anything much bigger is … well … not tiny enough. Objects at this small scale are so easily overlooked in display cases. My photography is giving them a space in which to show off.

 

Gallery

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  • Project type: Artefact photography
  • Skills needed: Artefact handling, macro photography, Photoshop, focus stacking
  • Working with: The Garstang Museum of Archaeology, Liverpool
  • Project year: Ongoing
  • Related blog posts: https://tetisheri.co.uk/tag/tiny-egypt/