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Dan Kushel Conservation Imaging, Technical Examination, and Documentation Lab

Conservation students working in photography lab

General Facilities
There are two photographic studios, an adjacent film loading and storage room, and a fully-shielded radiography room. On a separate floor are two supporting darkrooms for archival black-and-white film processing and photographic printing. The department's conservation treatment laboratories are equipped with a variety of stereomicroscopes (primarily Wild and most with video and photographic capability), and students are thoroughly trained in their use.

Photographic equipment in the main studio includes a Sinar P large-format view-camera with accessories; a large selection of Nikon 35mm film cameras and lenses; professional Gossen light meters, a Minolta color temperature meter, a comprehensive set of photographic filters including those for reflected ultraviolet, fluorescence and luminescence, and infrared photography; a large selection of flood, spot, fiberoptic, and polarized light sources, including a large industrial lightline for raking illumination, light boxes for transillumination, portable electronic flash units, and lighting control accessories. Artifact support equipment includes a motorized easel; slant board for photography of large planar artifacts; a FOBA studio shooting table for three-dimensional artifacts; and table easels, turntables, and studio background equipment. A secondary studio houses a large format Polaroid MP-4 copy and photomacrographic camera and a smaller general-purpose copy stand.

Digital imaging
Students develop their documentation skills using the department's regularly updated and extensive collection of digital image capture and processing equipment.

  • Cameras and lenses: two Nikon D100 professional SLR digital cameras with 24mm, 35mm, 60mm macro, and 105mm macro Nikkor lenses; a FujiFilm S3 UVIR forensic DSLR with Coastal Optics UV-VIS-IR 60mm Apo Macro lens and a comprehensive set of UV and IR filters; and a BetterLight® 6000-2 large-format high-resolution digital scanning back. Other digital cameras include a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2, 10.2MP compact and a Canon HV20 HDV Camcorder. A PhaseOne camera is also available through the college's Fine Arts Department.
  • Scanners: an Epson 10000XL flatbed scanner with transparency adapter and a Nikon Super CoolScan LS-4000ED high-resolution film scanner with auto feeder. In addition, there is a NextEngine 3-D laser scanner with complete accessory kit and control computer and monitor.
  • Printers: three Epson Stylus Photo 2400 photographic, pigmented-ink archival printers and several networked HP color and monochrome laser printers.
  • Image processing hardware: three mobile dual-monitor image processing stations equipped with LaCie Electron Blue IV 22” primary monitors, ViewSonic 17" secondaries, and Apple G-5 tower computers; two imaging-dedicated and six general-purpose Apple Intel iMac computers and two MacBook laptops; also a Wacom Intuos2 Platinum graphics tablet.
  • Color management equipment and software: X-Rite Eye-One Photo spectrophotometer kit for monitor, printer and camera profiling, and X-Rite Eye-One Beamer for projector profiling; X-Rite Eye-One Match and Robin Myers SpectraVision spectrophotometric software; Datacolor Spyder 2 Pro colorimeter; GTI Soft View print/transparency viewer; X-Rite color reference targets; InCamera camera profiling software.
  • Image capture and processing software: Adobe CS3 with PS Extended® is installed on all imaging and general-purpose computers and Nikon Capture Control Pro, FujiFilm HyperUtility, and BetterLight Viewfinder is on camera control computers.
  • File storage and security: The department has a large 1.75TB file share on the college server that is networked to all department computers. Students can thus conveniently and securely store all their documentation files as they are created and then access them from anywhere in the department or on campus. The file share also serves to house the department's archive of examination and treatment records, with image files stored in TIF and DNG format and documents in PDF-A format. Additionally, faculty use the file share to provide supplementary didactic materials to students. The file share is maintained by the college and is backed up daily in multiple locations.

Technical Examination

The department has a superb x-radiography facility. Its two Philips x-radiography units cover the 5 to 320 kV range allowing the radiography of materials ranging from thin paper sheets, textiles, and paintings to heavy metal objects. The facility also includes a xeroradiography unit, radiocarbon source sheets for beta radiography, radiation survey meter, Geiger counter, and dosimeters, and a fully equipped darkroom for film processing.

Digital radiography
The department owns a Kodak/Carestream Health ACR 2000 computed radiography system with a selection of High Resolution 2174 storage phosphor imaging plates ranging in size from 5 x 7 inches to 14 x 60 inches.

Ultraviolet, infrared, and additional technical examination equipment
Students have access to two infrared vidicon units used with a Scion scientific frame grabber for capture; an FJW infrared image converter; a fiberscope for internal examination of artifacts; a variety of illumination sources for UVA, UVB, and UVC ultraviolet examination and documentation, filtered visible light sources for infrared luminescence studies, low-pressure sodium vapor sources, and light sources for Dylux recording of watermarks.

Related Areas

Professional presentation techniques
Students also receive extensive training and practical experience in professional presentation techniques and are required to give four formal oral presentations during their three years in the program. Primary presentation software is Microsoft PowerPoint in Office 2008 (Mac) or Office 2007 (PC). There are several InFocus and Proxima digital projectors, two Apple MacBook laptop computers with radio controller; as well as overhead projectors and an HDV camcorder. Broadcast quality digital video services are available through the college's Instructional Resources Center.

Environmental assessment
Students are also trained in the documentation and assessment of environmental conditions using a variety of equipment maintained in this space, including a luminance/illuminance meter, an ultraviolet content meter, an ultraviolet radiometer with UVA, UVB and UVC sensors, psychrometers, recording hygrothermographs, and data loggers.

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Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Art Conservation Department

1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Rockwell Hall 230 •  Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-5025 •  Fax: (716) 878-5039