The main skill that I am developing throughout my internship is how to crop photographs through Adobe photoshop. Working with photographs has been a very detail-oriented process. Cropping is difficult because different standards and criteria are applied to various archival images if they are paintings, prints, drawings such as periodicals and books, photographs, sculptures, and 3D images, and Time-based media art such as a digital still image. The different standards and criteria for each crop can influence how long the process takes and when I am able to ingest photographs into the database before the photographs are sent to various Staff members throughout the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. My overall goal with cropping photographs is to become proficient with croppings so I can be of as much assistance as possible to Alex and Mark before May 2022 and my internship concludes.
The skill I hope to develop in the future relates to data visualizations with Smithsonian environmental data depending on the specific coding language that will be used to interpret data. I have past experience using the R Programming language from Dr. Lincoln Mullen’s spring 2020 class Creating History in the New Media. This skill will allow me to analyze the data and present it in such a way that is useful to Smithsonian employees such as curators, exhibit designers, lighting experts, photographers, and conservators, and upper-level administrators. Data visualizations are a fascinating way of looking at data and displaying the data to reach new conclusions.
I am very excited to continue working on cropping photographs throughout my internship. I look forward to visiting the Smithsonian NPG in December to obtain a broader picture of the goals behind my internship, meet and network with Smithsonian NPG employees, and learn more about the entire photograph process from taking photographs of Smithsonian objects and how the images are stored before being uploaded to the Smithsonian NPG website.
During my trip in December, I hope to spend a day or two with Alex and Mark as we discuss the broader aspects of my internship and how the internship relates to the Smithsonian NPG as a whole. This Friday, November 19, I will meet again with Alex and Mark for our weekly Microsoft Teams meeting where we will finalize various objectives for when I will be in Washington D.C. to see the Smithsonian NPG, meet with Smithsonian Staff, and obtain a broader picture of the photographs process from start to finish. During the Washington D.C. trip, I hope to meet with museum curators, exhibit designers and attend a photograph session with Mark as he photographs objects before I crop them. I hope to learn more about working in a museum through different roles both public-facing and behind the scenes.
I will subsequently inquire about permission to use cropped photographs and data visualizations in an Omeka site which will showcase my internship efforts and promote the work of the Smithsonian NPG to the public.