Wednesday, January 7, 2015

December 2014 Update

Odds and Ends
As most people know, ANSM shuts down for two weeks during the holidays. Since I still had a few vacation days and some overtime to use up, I decided to make it an even 3 weeks away. I told myself that I would take a few minutes on New Year's Eve to write up the December update, that I would stay on top of emails, and maybe even get a few little things crossed off the list while relaxing during a movie night. How did I do you ask? Well, I had a wonderful, relaxing holiday, and managed to not cross anything off my work list. Oh well. 

Since I was only in the office for two weeks I don't have much to report on the CMAP front. At the last Steering Committee meeting I was asked to look at the funding formula numbers and evaluation scores. It was an interesting exercise, but basically told us what we already knew. Next up is taking the evaluation apart and putting it back together. Fun times!

Collections Database Info
Chris was around for 3 weeks in December and managed to cross another 3,569 records off the data cleaning list. We only have a few databases left to go so it's getting a little exciting to see the light at the end of that tunnel.
With everyone gearing up for the holidays we didn't see a lot of database work this month. I think I would classify it more as clean up work. Some loose ends were tidied, duplicate records deleted, records prepped for our next Fleming College project, and some new records were added. We linked another 280 Made in Nova Scotia items to that database which we are still geeking out about, and mapped a few more items as well. In terms of data entry, we are 265 records and 435 images ahead of November numbers. Collectively we have 218,128 artifacts and 89,748 images. Not too shabby :)

Southwest - 119,026 artifacts, 39,353 images
Central - 41,158 artifacts, 20,447 images
Northeast - 30,684 artifacts, 20,190 images
Cape Breton - 27,260 artifacts, 9,758 images

Congrats to the Southwest region for adding the most records and images this month. 

I'm doing something new for your image of the month. I don't see it often, but every once in a while someone uses a prop to assist in their photography work. While I have seen a couple instances of this working very well, more often than not it detracts from the image. Like this purse. That is one strange looking hand. Sure I can see the chain really well, but my eye is so distracted by the big white hand that I'm not noticing the details of the purse as much as I should. The hand is also preventing the purse from being centred in the shot. And there's no scale.
So, here are a few principles to remember when you are photographing:

1. contrasting background fabric - black purse would probably display better on a white background.
2. scale - for 3d objects you want to make sure you have the scale in the lower left corner, within the frame portion of your shot.
3. placement - the artifact should be the central & sole focus on your shot. Avoid the use of props unless they can be hidden from view.

That's a wrap for 2014. It's been a crazy busy year, as usual, but a good one. Thanks to everyone for all their hard work, dedication, encouragement, support, etc etc. I look forward to seeing you in 2015 at workshops, meetings, site visits, and all the other heritage shindigs.

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