Conservation and Restoration | Photography Department and Workshop

Photography Department and Workshop

The photography department staffed with two photographers and a technician produces photographic images for SPSG publications and external orders. This work is carried out in close cooperation with the SPSG Information and Documentation Center (DIZ) and entered into the SPSG Image Database.

The Photography Department and Workshop photographs settings and objects in the palaces, gardens and studio. It also produces reproductions for the Graphic Arts Collection as well as photographs for research and SPSG marketing. Examples include the photographic works for the exhibition Cranach und die Kunst der Renaissance unter den Hohenzollern (Cranach and the Art of the Renaissance during the Hohenzollern Reign) and 40 images for the catalogues of the exhibition Friederisiko, commemorating the 300th anniversary of Frederick the Great’s birth. Producing the 304 photographs for the Collection Catalogue of Frederician Silks was particularly challenging because of the difficulty of controlling reflections from the shimmering materials.

The main area of work involves using photography to document objects for the entire Conservation Department’s areas of specialization, with photographs being made before, during, and after restoration. In addition, radiodiagnostic images are made using infrared photography and ultraviolet (UV) reflectography. Conservators use these special photographs to examine underdrawings concealed beneath the visible paint layer and to differentiate varnishes on paintings. Digital images are made at very high resolution (65 megapixels) so image details can be viewed at high magnifications. Another field of activity is the digital processing of photographs, with particular care being taken not to falsify the image. It is possible, for example, to correct distortion caused by irregularities in the camera lens that was utilized.
Analog photographic technology also continues to be used, particularly for photographing paintings, because it is the most reliable method of archiving, with the images recorded on film and the prints for documentation purposes made in the darkroom.


SPSG | Department Restoration
Postfach 60 14 62
14414  Potsdam, Germany
Fax: +49 (0) 331.96 94-502