Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Good news about Booker T. Washington

Early this year I blogged about the unsuccessful search for a quality portrait of Booker T. Washington.  It's a good thing to retry searches occasionally because the Library of Congress keeps adding to its digital selections.  Now they provide a wonderful image of him.  It has good composition, has been well curated, and is technically better than Wikimedia's software can accommodate.  This cropped version is 126MB in 16 bit TIFF format.  Wikimedia uploads are limited to 100MB and 8 bit TIFF files.  We'll have to reduce the technicals a little bit to get this uploaded.  So the media editors will need to start tugging on developer sleeves.

This is a good problem.

At full resolution quite a bit of work remains to be done.  Glass plate photography is a very delicate medium and almost always needs attention.  The technical condition of this one is better than average.  Here's a closeup from part of the chair.

Cheers to Xavexgoem; he's working on this now.  I had gotten a start on the Washington restoration and then been pulled away by other projects.  Had been feeling guilty about not returning to this sooner.  Xav was looking for something to do last night and loves the portrait as much as I do.  We decided to trade off and share the work.

This is what Wikipedian collaboration is all about.  Now does somebody have a talent for tugging at developers' sleeves?  It would be a shame if the full version of this restoration existed on only two people's computers.

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