McKeldin Library Resources

Did you know that you can borrow a laptop and/or a laptop charger from McKeldin Library?

Did you know that you can borrow an iPad, various adaptors or noise reduction headphones?

That’s right, McKeldin Library has items to loan that help make studying with technology just a little easier. Click Here to view the website.

And if the VRC is out of cameras, you can borrow a Nikon L120 point and shoot camera from McKeldin as well.

Creative Commons – Watch your license

The Creative Commons portion of the image website Flickr is a terrific place to find images, and also participate in the sharing of these images. This first page shows you the various types of licenses and attributions under which photographers allow their images to be used.

If you are looking for images to illustrate a paper or blog, go to Flickr.com and click on the word ‘search’ in the upper right hand corner of the webpage. This takes you to a new search page.  You will see a drop-down list on the left side of the search field. Click on that and, from the menu, choose The Commons, then type in a key word for flickr to search on.

This picture came from the commons portion of Flickr.

You can download the picture to your desktop, but please pay attention to the licensing and copyright tags on the picture page.

Resources in the Visual Resources Collection

The Visual Resources Collection has various items for student use, besides images. All of these items must be signed out, and should be returned in the same condition that you received them. All items can be borrowed by the hour or overnight. Future Blog posts will focus on individual items, with pictures!!

  • Point-and-Shoot Cameras. We have two Panasonics and one Nikon
  • Video Cameras.  We have two Canon Vixia digital video cameras
  • Flip Video Cameras. Two hour maximum recording time; often used as a voice recorder
  • Clear Plastic Sheets for scanning delicate drawings in the DOC scanner. Approx 22″ x 30″
  • Tripods
  • Dollies with Wheels.  Tripods may be put on these.
  • Photographic lights for model photography
  • Flat panel TVs connected to Macmini computers.  You may also connect your laptop to the TV
  • LCD Projectors that connect to Laptops
  • Laser Pointers
  • Powerpoint Remotes
  • Copystand with lights to photograph delicate drawings and very small models. Make an appointment to use this.

How to Photograph Architectural Models

It is important to photograph your models soon after you complete them.  Drawings generated digitally can always be saved – in multiple places – but models have a way of getting dusty, losing parts, or molding in your parents’ basement. Therefore you should photograph models pretty much immediately after finishing them.  Whites will be whiter, columns will be straighter, and windows less finger-printed now, as opposed to a few weeks from now. And, if you leave them in the School studio space, they will get thrown out!

Plan view of model photography set-up

Plan view of model photography set-up

Model Photography basics: Click on the link to download the PDF instructions.

How to photograph models 12_13_10

A few things to keep in mind:

You can use a point and shoot camera, you dont need an SLR (single lens reflex) camera.  Always use a tripod. This will give you sharper pictures than any handheld shots.

Use two lights; one is a direct light source, and the other will be indirect.  The direct light source acts like the sun, lighting your model from a particular direction.  The indirect light acts as atmospheric, reflected light, and keeps the shadows on your model from being too dark.

Light colored models will look best on a black background.  We have black cloths in the Visual Resources Center, that students may borrow. See the next blog post for other amenities that students may borrow!

What should I do with my old slides?

Here in the Visual Resources Collection we are taking an inventory of everything in the room.

We have LCD projectors, slide projectors, cameras, video cameras, light sets, some books and travel guides; even film cameras of the Nikon variety.

However, the slides, slides, slides, are what I have in the most quantity.  Now, slides are small, so it takes alot of them to take up any amount of space – we have at least 265 drawers full of slides. As part of the stocktaking, the Graduate Assistants are looking at boxes of slides, drawers of slides, scans of slides. We have your pink variety, your purply-orange variety, your overexposed and your really dark variety.  Then there are the fabulously colored Fujichrome and Kodachrome slides of trips from around the world that our professors and students have shared with us over the years.  Records of moments in time, a particularly sunny day, a freshly painted facade, a brand new structure or a really old structure.  Images that document not only an architecture, but a city, a style of car or hairdo, caught on the film chip.

Sidi-Bou-Said, Tunisia. Photo by Bill Bechhoefer

Sidi-Bou-Said, Tunisia. Photo by Bill Bechhoefer

The challenge for me and my student assistants is to decide what stays and what goes.  What is relevant to the School’s mission, and what is just taking up space. Is this slide primary source material or outdated copywork from a book that has been re-issued and updated umpteen times since that slide was taken? For slides that are going to go, here is a beautiful and useful project: Curtains. Or maybe a handbag would be nice.

I plan to post more lovely pictures as we continue with the collection assessment.