Digital Imaging Department

Nitrate negative from the Edward Weston Archive

The Digital Imaging Department collaborates with our museum associates in registration, archives, and curatorial in providing all the imaging needs for the Center for Creative Photography (CCP). We graciously support the preservation and accessibility of the archive and the fine print collection in doing so. The Department’s primary undertakings include digitizing the fine print collection as well as selected archive materials. Within the Digital Imaging Department's daily routine are opportunities to develop techniques and methods for digitizing documents, journals, film-based originals, fine prints, three dimensional photographic artwork, and a host of other material types.

The Digital Imaging Department is managed by Joseph Rheaume. Joseph earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with an emphasis in Graphic Communications from the Ira Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU). He also holds a Master of Science in Printing Technology as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Photography, both from ASU. Subsequent to joining the staff at the CCP, Joseph held various positions in academia involving the instruction of photographic and fine art education. He has also held various positions in the digital imaging, graphic arts, and printing industries.

History of Digital Imaging at the Center for Creative Photography

Aside from some experiments with early digital cameras, digital imaging began in earnest at CCP in 1997, when the Center became a founding member of the Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO). AMICO was a not-for-profit organization whose mission was to make institutional art collections available online for educational purposes. At the time, there was no high-quality direct digital imaging equipment within reach, so CCP Rights and Reproductions staff began methodically making copy slides of photographs, and digitizing these intermediaries with a Nikon film scanner. This enabled the Center to make annual submissions to the AMICO Library, and this was the driver for imaging until the dissolution of AMICO in 2005. This effort was guided by Dianne Nilsen, who established the Center’s Rights and Reproductions and imaging departments, and is responsible for nudging the Center into the digital era.

In 2005, the Center was the recipient of a generous gift from the Frederick and Frances Sommer Foundation, which purchased a Better Light Super 6K digital scanning back, enabling the Center’s photographers to create high quality, high resolution images directly from original art for the first time. This was a watershed moment, and from 2005 to 2012, nearly every one of the Center’s 90,000 cataloged fine prints was scanned, either with the Better Light, or for some groups of smaller unmounted prints, on an Epson flatbed scanner.

In 2011, the Imaging studio space was effectively doubled, and in 2013, with support from the university’s Student Information Technology Library Fee, the Center was able to purchase two Digital Transitions RCam instant capture systems with Phase One digital backs. These latest additions have positioned CCP to implement a rapid capture workflow and embark on imaging selections from the approximately five million archive objects in its care.

Explore digital imaging within the CCP:

  • Technology & Equipment: The Digital Imaging Department at the Center for Creative Photography utilizes a host of different types of technology and equipment in its digitization efforts

  • Projects of Note: Recent projects taken on by the CCP's Digital Imaging Department

  • Resources: Online information for Cultural Heritage imaging concerns

For Licensing inquiries please contact the Image Resources & Copyright Management Department.

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