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Clay tablet inscribed with Linear A from the palace at Gournia. Photo by Ch. Papanikolopoulos

For the first seven years, our photographers took pictures with black and white film and color slide film in analog cameras. The black and white photos were then manually printed in the darkroom. In 2004, the lab transitioned to digital photography, editing, and archiving—initiating a process of changes over the next decade as various camera and computer technologies improved.

J. Vanderpool photographs a pithos from Gaidourofas in the courtyard at the Study Center.


The Study Center has two Nikon cameras for use in the studio and another for photography on site. Three different studio set-ups facilitate the photography of objects: a super macro set for 6–8 mm small objects, a normal-sized set for sherds or complete vessels, and a large set for pithoi or other large objects. The studio set includes three flash units with umbrellas, a Nikon camera and lenses, and two small monitors. The system is designed for maximum efficiency and production of high-quality digital photos. A fourth studio set, which is lighter and portable, can be taken to museums. The photo studio also offers aerial photography using a 9-meter boom with a camera attachment that can capture a bird’s eye view of areas up to 8 x 10 meters.

Photos are taken as RAW files and later processed using Adobe Photoshop software to create high-quality images in TIFF format. Each year the photography lab supports 10–15 projects, taking an average of 10,000 photos, of which roughly half are processed. Recent projects include Gournia, Azoria, Petras, Kea Survey, Heraion Samos, Sisi, Sopata, and Juktas.

Slide show from left to right (click on each photo to enlarge): one view of the photo studio, two views of boom photography on site, one view of processing the photos on the computer, and three views of objects from Mochlos. Photos of objects by Ch. Papanikolopoulos.

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