Wow! Cultural Heritage Imaging is such an awesome organization, dedicated to accurately recording invaluable cultural artifacts for posterity. Marlin, Carla, Mark - such amazing, kind, patient people who are compassionate about capturing images - and hearts of others - through dynamic, hands-on, instruction. CHI far exceeded my expectations. Dr. Michael Livingston Anchorage, Alaska
My journey with photogrammetry and RTI started with the wonderful team at CHI. I remember a long time ago when I was just an intern looking to soak up as much information as I could, and it was the CHI website and the exciting resources the CHI team shared with the industry that gave me the insight and the guiding introduction that I needed.
Without CHI being a leader and a willing teacher, I would not be where I am today. The skills I have, the understanding that I have, and the career position I have all can be traced back to the impact CHI has had on myself and the industry. Now later in my career, CHI’s training is still the guiding force behind my knowledge and understanding for photogrammetry and RTI.
Their commitment to growing industry knowledge and the resources they provide make them truly a trusted partner. As such, CHI has become a cornerstone in the cultural heritage imaging community due to their relentless contributions to the industry. I could not praise them enough for the wonderful impact they have had on me and so many others.
I work in the cultural resource management field, specializing in working with geographically remote Tribal organizations. The skills that can be taught by CHI allow individuals to photograph pieces, and share a 3D model of that piece to anyone who would like to see it. Native artists can examine past creations that they would otherwise never see for inspiration or guidance. The ability to show children 3D models of traditional regalia as they create their own, or being able to accurately recreate artwork that is hundreds of years old that they would otherwise never see, is incredible. CHI's focus on teaching these skills to indigenous communities so that they have the ability to choose what to document and decide what is important to them, is admirable and should be supported.
Having worked with and alongside Cultural Heritage Imaging and having attended one of their training weeks I am confident to say that CHI are among the most knowledgeable cultural imaging professionals in the world.
The team is professional and relatable and it is a joy to work with. In addition, I can not stress enough how valuable their contribution is to our sector. CHI is willing to share software and knowledge for free and works tirelessly to improve digitisation standards and practices.
After 18 years, CHI continues to work with some of the finest cultural institutions in the world, while remaining committed to making its technologies and methods accessible to even the smallest museums and cultural communities. CHI has received prestigious grants (e.g. from the NEH in June 2020) and earned the high regard of its many collaborators. As a member of the board, I see how dedicated the team is to its mission and how hard members work to achieve it. I'm proud to support CHI!
I met the principals of CHI at a conference on computer applications in archaeology in 2006. Little did I know that their work would become central to my own for the next 15 years! I have worked with them in the field in Crimea, teaching local colleagues how to capture and process data for reflectance transformation imaging; I have taken a photogrammetry course with them as part of a training grant they received from the NEH, which I arranged to have hosted on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin; and I have been collaborating with them and offering user feedback for several years on their Digital Lab Notebook project, which I think is one of the most forward-looking data-management projects in cultural heritage today. In all of these different contexts, CHI has been professional, spectacularly experienced, patient in instruction and knowledgeable in both theory and application of computational photography. I keep coming back to work with them, and even as a collaborator I make personal donations to support their work -- they occupy a unique and fundamentally important niche in the world of heritage documentation and computing. I recommend them in the strongest possible terms. Because of the work I've done with them, I can say with confidence that every penny they receive is well spent, and their projects always deliver. The impact they have had on global cultural heritage is extraordinary, especially since the organization is so lean. They sometimes seem to be everywhere at once -- yet their care, attention to detail, and enthusiasm for teaching and documentation is never diluted. Simply put, they are a spectacular organization, and highly worthy of support.
I’ve taken both the RTI and photogrammetry courses in San Francisco over the years. Carla, Mark and Marlin are great teachers of these complex techniques and have offered invaluable advise for my museums projects. They make is vital contribution to the Cultural Heritage community.
Thanks so much!
Carla, Mark, and Marlin are a phenomenal resource to people working in the cultural heritage industry, or are seeking to document and preserve the heritage of their communities. They have a level of expertise in photogrammetric documentation techniques that is rare in the field. They have demonstrated the true capability of this technology. In recent years these methods have become more widely available and "user friendly", but this has also resulted in the production of countless unscientific 3-D representations of heritage objects and places. Cultural Heritage Imaging has empowered heritage professionals to produce high quality models. They have also worked to document rare and structurally complex objects at resolutions that enable experts from around the world to digitally access and interpret the materials.
CHI is an invaluable resource for the field of cultural heritage preservation worldwide. I have taken two courses with their team in the past decade, both connected to graduate programs in art conservation. I could not speak more highly of their work. Carla, Mark, and Marlin are extremely knowledgeable, well-researched, and thorough; but more than this, they are all three of them gifted teachers, extremely generous with their time and expertise, and genuine in their passion.
All of the staff of CHI are dedicated to their cause--to preserve cultural materials digitally for perpetuity while increasing virtual access. They increase their impact by training individuals that care for sites, artifacts, and art around the world.
In cases of war, terrorism, cultural genocide, or natural disasters, museum collections and archaeological sites are often destroyed or sold on the black market. If materials have been digitally documented following CHI methods, these digitally preserved materials can continue to be appreciated or even replicated.
In better circumstances, the techniques developed by CHI make cultural materials digitally available to a worldwide audience that enhances their appreciation and encourages international scholarship.
CHI's methods for achieving replicable and transparent models set the standard for the emerging fields of both photogrammetry and RTI.
After taking their short course in photogrammetry I continue to rely on CHI's web training and seminar videos to help guide my development in these skills. I hope to take more classes from them as I strive to apply their techniques in my field--archaeology.
CHI is a non-profit I will continue to support and hope you do to.
It has been terrific working with Cultural Heritage Imaging since 2015. They are a group of passionate, dedicated and detail-orientated people who want to make sure that you are able to gather the data that you need to support your research. They are both able to see the small details as well as the big picture, and work with you actively to develop a process that best fits your research needs. I truly could not be doing the work I am doing now without their expertise, and frankly, deep curiosity about how the work they do can support the work of others. I can't say enough about how extraordinarily patient they are, even with the most basic of questions, and how thoughtfully they can problem-solve even the most intractable problems.
I had been experimenting with photogrammetry for about a year and I felt I had reached the limit of what I could learn on my own. The excellent tutorials on the CHI website had been one of the resources I had been using, but when I saw they offered a four-day photogrammetry class I said to my self, "why not learn from the pros?". I was not disappointed! Carla, Mark, and Marlin are amazing instructors, and the four-day class gave me a comprehensive understanding of how to best capture, process, and archive data derived from photogrammetry. It also went in to the theory and process of getting precise, accurate measurements from a data set. I highly recommend CHI for anyone interested in learning photogrammetry!
I have been working in the area of image-based assessment for a number of years and have had exposure to photogrammetry and received recommendations from a number of colleagues about CHI. After taking their training course I have a completely new perspective on the field of computational photography. Carla, Mark and Marlin delivered an excellent short-course on photogrammetry and demonstrated the value of capturing and preserving high-quality data. Great group to work with and I hope to find an opportunity to collaborate in the future. A+ team
Cultural Heritage Imaging is doing very important work in the field of heritage documentation. The pipelines they refine help make capture streamlined and reproducible, the precision/error of results calculable and data archivable. They strive to democratize their knowledge through teaching workshops, presenting at international conferences and offering free, open-source software and guides. I have had the pleasure of both hosting one of their RTI workshops and attending one of their photogrammetry workshops. They demonstrate a commitment to equipping others with the know how to perform computational photography on their own and are actively engaged in the field!
Excellent instructors. I really appreciated their philosophy to make photogrammetry accessible to as many as possible.
The folks at CHI were phenomenal! In a four-day workshop, they covered an incredible amount of material and hit a perfect balance between lecture and active learning. We learned so much from them, and, since they left, have continued to work with them to finish projects that were started during their time with us.
It was very clear from working with them that their goal is to make this technology available to everyone. We appreciate their work and hope to see them continue it!
The photogrammetry workshop was flexible and thorough! We enjoyed hearing about the work of the group, and the applications of the software for science and beauty. This was a great opportunity to build relationships between departments for folks working in preserving cultural and scientific materials.
Regular photography and video were just not effective for images of incised stones for my master’s project. I found CHI and made an appointment. Within the first ten minutes of discussing my needs with the team, I knew that not only could I work with CHI, but that I had made a very fortuitous decision to travel the 2200 miles round-trip from Montana!
The CHI team are superior art/artifact imaging strategy assessors, know how to listen and add suggestions, and excellent interviewers who draw out the client’s articulation of exact needs.
CHI wastes no time during the set-up and imaging. They are there to work, and work they do. Lastly, the team explained their processes in understandable language, and gave me valuable take-home tips on the RTI tools.
I support CHI wholeheartedly. They live by their mission credo of sharing technology for the imaging and preserving of all things art and artifact. CHI helped make my project a success, and I recommend them to any individual or group. I thank them for being genuine caring folks. Go Team CHI!
The team at Cultural Heritage Imaging are passionate about art, history, and science. You can see that passion whenever you hear them talk about project they have captured. The stories they tell about the work itself, the anecdotes about the shoot, and the demonstration of their work show you how much they love to share. That spirit of sharing is integral in democratizing the methodology and technology so anyone can participate in preserving the world's heritage.
I first met the CHI team through some volunteer work I did with them but I also had the opportunity to attend a 4-day training course on photogrammetry at CHI's headquarters in San Francisco. Having some experience prior to the class didn't stop me from learning so much more about scientifically rigorous capturing methods. They provided great foundational knowledge through lectures and reinforcement through hands-on capturing of small subjects in studio but also larger outdoor subjects.
I would recommend anyone interested in this field to connect with CHI through training, consulting, volunteering, or donating.
In 2017 I took CHI’s photogrammetry training during my senior year at Saint Olaf College. I had some experience with Agisoft and had made models in the past, but the training they provide was invaluable. I was later able to participate in the Illumination of material symposium at the MET due to the training I received. Since graduating I have worked in the Cultural Resource Management field, and continue to use CHI’s methods with great success. In short CHI’s training is practical and potent.
Carla, Marlin and Mark are a fantastic team of instructors. They are very knowledgeable and communicate extremely well. I took their photogrammetry workshop in Jan 2019 and feel that the knowledge I acquired will be very valuable for a long time to come. 5 stars!
Carla, Marlin and Mark are extremely knowledgeable and great instructors. I took their Photogrammetry course last month and it was the best decision I've made in regards to 3D photography. Their insight and teaching methods made it possible for even a complete photography novice to understand. They covered all processes and made sure you left prepared.
They are a necessary addition to Cultural Heritage preservation and a company all institutions can benefit from.
Cultural Heritage Imaging is firmly dedicated to provide the skills, knowledge, and tools to capture high quality data using easily accessible and economical tools. In their trainings they simultaneously help those coming from near zero background quickly get up and running, with methods to ensure reliable capture of data, as well as helping advanced and near expert users improve workflows and solve more complex problems. Additionally they are great friends of and advocates for the community, creating forums for sharing of knowledge and driving the creation of tools and software.
As a collections photographer in the cultural heritage sector, I had been aware of CHI for some time before my institution hosted them to conduct a four day Photogrammetry workshop. The experience was outstanding. There is a bewildering amount of often contradictory material online regarding the techniques and uses of photogrammetry and photogrammetry software, but Carla and Mark from CHI gave us a thorough grounding in methodology for achieving scientifically sound results. They made the technique accessible in both practical and theoretical terms and provided excellent practical guidance. Highly recommended.
CHI in San Francisco is an invaluable resource for imaging professionals in museums who are working to preserve, and provide access to, the collections they serve. Advanced computational imaging is the next iteration of photography for cultural heritage institutions, and the methods, instruction, and guidance the team at CHI provides is helping to make that transition with accuracy and integrity. The photogrammetric models produced by CHI's methods are accurate to within 1/10th of a millimeter. In Cleveland we are undertaking the reconfiguration of a collection highlight, a large stone Cambodian Krishna holding up Mount Govardan. It was put together in the 1970s from various fragments and, due to new scholarship, our conservators are deconstructing it to remount it with a slightly different posture and with a crucial additional element left out of the prior effort. The photogrammetric model I made of the previous configuration has provided valuable metrics for the project. From the methods learned at CHI, the model was able to provide us with highly accurate volumes for both the overall object, and the various component pieces; and when those volumes were coupled to the density of the stone, accurate weights were produced which helped greatly in the decisions on mounting materials and methods. And then this model of the prior configuration will also provide an opportunity for next generation exhibition didactics to explain the entire process. None of this would be possible without the guidance of Carla, Mark, and the rest of the team at CHI. They provide lucid and well thought out instruction in their workshops, and enthusiastic and cheerful support afterwards. I recommend them highly.
Head of Photographic and Digital Imaging
The Cleveland Museum of Art
I've taken two training courses with CHI. I took their 4-day course on Photogrammetry in the fall of 2016, then took their Reflectance Transformation Imaging course in the summer of 2018. Both were fantastic. I feel far more confident and prepared to use these technologies in my work than I ever would have trying to teach myself. Their studio space is very well equipped, and the instructors were all very friendly, supportive, and extremely knowledgeable. There is just no substitute for the kinds of hands-on learning they offer. In addition to all of that, they are recognized leaders in advancing computation photography methods and practice. I cannot commend them and their work highly enough.
I learned so much from the CHI-led photogrammetry workshop I attended last year. A year later, they are still helping me by fielding questions and offering advice on equipment and methodology. I am a paleoanthropologist working on using photogrammetry to create scientific-quality 3D models of human and fossil hominin skeletal material, and could not do this without the help of the CHI team! In my work, the accuracy of the shape of the models is paramount, because we use the 3D models to compare measurements between species; CHI's method works great for this, leading to models comparable to or better than those created with various 3D scanners. I definitely would recommend their training and expertise to any scientist interested in making accurate 3D models.
I participated in a recent 4-day RTI workshop with CHI at their SF lab on behalf of my museum. We will be using RTI to support research on a global collection across a wide range of objects, from ancient coins to contemporary prints. The small size of the workshop group of 5 was great; we got tons of hands-on practice shooting small and large objects with vertical and horizontal setups. Mornings were given over to training and lecture in one of four areas (capture, processing, viewing + dissemination, and current research on/with RTI), and afternoons were for practice. In a typical afternoon, we would be able to setup and capture 1-2 objects in small teams, and then process and view the RTIs. Because CHI had multiple camera setups and loads of equipment for us to play with, we got to work in pairs and experiment with different equipment, different objects and materials (coins, boxes, masks, prints), and different setups each day. I came away from the training understanding not only the process but the underlying concepts of RTI and completely prepared to come back to my institution, begin using the technique right away, and train others in it as well. I would (and will) recommend CHI to my colleagues, and will hope to be able to come back for photogrammetry training.
CHI's 4-day RTI training was exemplary in every way. The combination of lecture and hands-on experience was ideal for learning a new skill that is both conceptual and practical. Carla, Mark, and Merlin are all incredibly knowledgable and generous with their time and insights. Given the small class size (5 total), instruction was tailored to fit my individual interests, maximizing opportunities to practice capturing, processing, and viewing images like those I intend to generate as part of my doctoral research. As an art history student, computational photography training is hard to come by, and these four days have already proven to be absolutely essential for my current project and professional ambitions.
I was not familiar with CHI until recently, when I attended a week-long workshop on photogrammetry. As a beginner in this technical area of cultural heritage, I could have felt overwhelmed but the CHI experts guided us all through the information at the level that suited each of our skill levels. I'm looking forwarding to putting the training into practice! I must also say that it is always great to learn from the experts who are not only up-to-date on the current practice but are pushing the envelope forwarding and innovating the field.
Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) has been an incredible help to me in my career as a digital humanist. I first encountered them when I used their documentation, program, and supply kit to carry out Reflectance Transformation Imaging while on a Fulbright fellowship in Athens, Greece. Their materials and instructions were comprehensive and clear, and enabled me to create digital records of stone inscriptions of a quality previously only rivaled by paper negatives (i.e. squeezes) or charcoal rubbings, both of which processes can harm the stone.
I subsequently undertook a week-long intensive training class in photogrammetry with CHI at their headquarters in San Francisco. Carla, Mark, and Marlin were all wonderful teachers, and I not only had a wonderful time and made some lasting and important contacts in my field, I also walked away able to implement the technique by myself and even teach it to colleagues. Indeed, I returned to Athens to carry out photogrammetry at the Museum of the Ancient Agora, and later presented the results of my RTI and photogrammetry work on inscriptions at a conference held at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ.
In March of 2017, I attended a symposium organized by CHI at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. There, in addition to renewing my previous contacts and making even more, I also saw a presentation about how to build a dome to carry out RTI. With a colleague from Rutgers University, I built a dome to image some of the coins from the Badian Coin Collection in the Rutgers Libraries, and for our project we were recognized with an award from the New York City Digital Humanities group.
Everyone at CHI has always been exceptionally helpful and friendly, and I really could not think of a group more important in my movement from traditional classical philologist to digital humanist. I cannot recommend enough their products and services!
Last fall I attended a four-day workshop on scientific photogrammetry for cultural heritage put on by the staff of Cultural Heritage Imaging and I cannot stress enough how impressed I was with them and with the whole experience. I came into the workshop with high appreciation of but pretty minimal personal familiarity with photogrammetric techniques and left having been taught an incredible amount information, giving me the best possible basis for growing my own expertise. They were organized, thoughtful, thorough, and careful in their instruction, whether discussing broad backgrounds and philosophies of photogrammetry or the nuances of specific techniques. CHI is passionate about making these important and accessible to cultural heritage and educational institutions and are committed to ensuring that practitioners do it *right* so that results have scientific value and serve the mission of our organizations. Their deep familiarity with technologies, techniques, and cultural heritage practices meant that they were ready to answer any question we sent their way. A wonderful and helpful group of true professionals. I could not recommend them more highly.
I recently took a workshop in photogrammetry through CHI. It was something totally new me, to use in my Conservation photography.The instructors had much enthusiasm and knowledge in their field ,each with their own expertise to share with us ! We all got to work in groups to photograph art objects and then produce 3D images in the computer - Photoscan program with CHI's help ,a printed booklet and talks that were given.
I've attended the course on Photogrammetry for scientific imaging by CHI last September. I was very impressed by their professional and scientific approach to imaging, with a strong focus on attaining repeatable and true to life photogrammetry data, as opposed to generating mere pretty models of the artefacts.
The level of competence demonstrated by the staff throughout the four days was amazing. The lectures, hands-on sessions, and the manual all complemented each other to allow the trainees to quickly develop the basic skills needed and to carry on improving on a self-taught basis.
I have been working in Cultural Heritage for many years and the kind of training provided by CHI covers (and exceeds) all the basic criteria I would expect from a course of this kind. Highly recommended.
I recently had the opportunity to attend a CHI training course on photogrammetry. I learned more in the four days with them than I had trying to learn the process by myself over the last two years. I fully support their mission to bring novel technological/preservation skills to heritage professionals and the public through their outreach and education. They are focused, passionate, engaging folks who are making a marked impact on the capabilities of those who are able to attend their workshops. I feel I cannot overstate that last sentiment enough: CHI is doing their part to help usher in the future of cultural heritage preservation and public engagement for our shared, irreplaceable cultural resources. While many in the class I attended came from a museum or a curations background, I was there to find new ways to apply photogrammetry to archaeological research. The instructors often took time to address my specific questions about field applications and throughout the workshop would think of ways I could utilize the methods being taught in the types of environment I am likely to encounter.
I highly recommend the CHI team and their work. I look forward to learning more with them in the future.
CHI provides an invaluable course in photogrammetry for anyone involved in Cultural Heritage. I would recommend their course to any photographer as an absolute must if your institution is looking to get into photogrammetry. The hands on training, the peer learning, and the materials you will have once completing the course should be in everyones desk.
CHI's training courses exceed expectations. They value the importance of hands on experience which is critical for retention of these complex imaging modalities. They teach methods that promote scientific integrity which is imperative when adopting to a proper cultural heritage institution workflow. I learned much more than expected and have no doubt in my ability to successfully integrate these processes into my own professional workflow.
CHI offers in depth yet accessible training in computational imaging. Their staff clearly holds true passion towards advancing the field and teaching others. I highly recommend taking one of their training courses to anyone associated with the cultural heritage field.
CHI is an amazing organization that functions in the truest sense of a non-profit. Their focus is on sharing their knowledge, educating the cultural heritage community, and developing open source tools to help that community thrive!
Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) has made an enormous knowledge contribution to the museum community. Scientifically accurate 3-D imaging is rapidly becoming a core methodology serving conservators, scholars, preservationists, and casual learners. The current rapid expansion of 3-D photogrammetry for documentation of cultural heritage collections is largely due to the trainings conducted by CHI, both at their own facility and remotely at institutions worldwide. In addition to formal training the CHI team freely share their sophisticated refinement of the photogrammetry process through participation in conferences, workshops and museum community listserves. In my opinion those responsible for imaging of many of the world's most significant cultural heritage collections would not be capturing quality 3D image data without the research, dedication, and spirit of openness that CHI provides.
CHI has for years and years engaged with both the cultural heritage professionals they serve and the academic communities that invent the new technologies they use. Their training programs are often backed by grants that they received jointly with universities. Why does this matter? They are constantly challenged by expert researchers on the technical side as well as the arts and humanities side. In my work with them I have found them to be extremely competent at what they do.
One of the best and most dedicated non-profits in the cultural heritage field I have ever encountered. They go above and beyond with every project they tackle and their philosophy about sharing their knowledge and data with the public is amazing. Truly a heart-warming experience working with them-could not recommend them more!
Our department has collaborated with CHI on Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) for the past six years. Carla, Mark, and Marlin are leaders in the field and have been instrumental in making RTI and related technologies accessible within the cultural heritage sphere. Their training sessions impart practical knowledge and their countless lectures at conferences around the world propel the intellectual discussion forward. Additionally, the resources they have made freely available through their website have helped us to maintain best practices long after our training had concluded. Their work truly enriches the field.
Cultural Heritage Imaging are leaders in their field. Or to be more precise, CHI are the only ones in their field, and they're bringing all of us forward with them.
CHI are helping museums, archaeologists, and cultural heritage organizations move forward with digitizing and sharing cultural heritage objects from around the world. They're offering trainings in both Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) and photogrammetry, and they're teaching the capture technologies to photographers and non-photographers alike.
I've taken both the photogrammetry and the RTI trainings from CHI, and both have exceeded my expectations. Now I can share my knowledge with my museum and with colleagues at other museums, and we have more ways to document and share the objects in our collections.
CHI has been, and continues to be a great source of Technical instruction, know-how and support for evolving and far reaching imaging. Other reviews have said it well; take a look at the institutions and experts they have worked with. That is a testament to their work. What I can add is how the team at Chi put their passion into keeping these imaging technologies moving forward in an open source environment is a significant asset to the Cultural Heritage Imaging Community worldwide.
I have had the great privilege of collaborating, learning and building a professional relationship with the Cultural Heritage Imaging group (CHI) for close to ten years. Their founders Carla, Mark and Marlin are as committed as ever to the development and dissemination of imaging techniques that empower cultural heritage documentarians and caretakers all over the word, with low cost equipment and techniques. As the Senior Conservation Photographer at the largest encyclopedic collection on the West Cost, under LACMA's Conservation Center, I can attest to the importance of CHI's work. Abiding by a strict scientific approach and a philosophy of open-source sharing, CHI is always looking forward. They have come a long way with the development and dissemination of Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) and now, Photogrammetry, but they never lose sight of the future. Their teachings are grounded in very strong fundamentals that allow for the generation of documentation (data-sets) with longevity. These best practices allow institutions, collections and archives, to rework currently acquired information to a higher degree of processing as soon as the technology and algorithms become available. Proof of the important work that CHI performs are the numerous grants that they have been awarded throughout the years, institutions of great weight like the IMLS and NEH have contributed to their efforts with consistency attesting to the influence that they have in the Cultural Heritage field. I know that supporting CHI in anyway is supporting the development of accurate and reliable techniques and procedures to document cultural heritage artifacts and sites anywhere. Lately with the current political climate in many regions of the world this resonates with great importance and a sense of urgency to safeguard, at least in a digital format, cultural landmarks that are under constant threat. We need organizations like CHI to succeed if we want to preserve our human collective memory and history.
I work with CHI as a technical writer, which gives me a chance to see how the technology has been developing and expanding. It is fascinating to see how it can be applied in such widely disparate fields.
I also love getting to work directly with this great team. They really know their stuff, and know how to get it across to people. It is satisfying to see our work getting into the hands of the people that need it and appreciate it.
I have taken two courses with CHI, focused on Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) and 3D photogrammetric modeling, and have come away from both workshops with the deep technical understanding necessary to implement both techniques with confidence.
In professional fields where most practitioners of these techniques are self-taught (as I was), CHI is performing an invaluable service. By "deep-diving" into the computational processes that RTI and 3D modeling rely on, a true understanding of how to produce quality and precise results in any environment is developed. It is this true understanding that will enable the students of CHI's workshops to excel in the field, and to continue demonstrating ideal practices to their peers.
Beyond their ability to teach a fantastic workshop, the CHI team promotes an environment of knowledge sharing and enthusiasm, evident in their commitment to open-source software development. Each team member is endlessly enthusiastic to answer questions and discuss potential applications of these tools. I'm looking forward to crossing paths with this fantastic non-profit in the future.
Cultural Heritage Imaging has a deep passion for documenting and preserving art, history, and culture. They do this through training programs, free support forums, the development of open source software and user guides. A core principle of the organization is to teach people to fish enabling many people to adopt photography based scientific imaging in their day to day work. The organization is small, and they collaborate with a wide variety of research labs, universities, museums, libraries, archives, and historic sites.
As an emerging art conservator, I am no stranger to the value of digital tools for the documentation and analysis of cultural heritage. However, my ability to use the technologies available in an efficient way relies heavily on the work of the Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) team. CHI makes computational photographic techniques accessible to non-specialists.
The CHI team consists of three total gurus. Carla Schroer brings business and tech know-how from years of work in Silicon Valley earlier in her career. She has a warm and direct teaching style that is accessible no matter your photography/imaging background. Mark Mudge is a true visionary; he is rigorous and inventive, and always carefully pushing the brink of what’s possible. Marlin Lum is the photographer of the group and a master at fabricating the perfect tool/workstation for the capture of near-perfect source images. His never-ending positivity is contagious.
If you have an opportunity to take a training course at CHI, you will not regret it. Not only is there immense value to the techniques they are teaching, but it’s obvious that they love sharing knowledge and truly believe in the power of the tools they are teaching.
Cultural Heritage Imaging is committed to the field of heritage preservation through their avid work in exploring the latest technologies available for documentation. I have been fortunate enough to attend two of their workshops now - one on RTI, and another on 3D Photogrammetry - and each week-long course taught me a customized quality skill set that I would not have been able to get anywhere else. I admire their dedication to the work that they do and am grateful to all the funding that has enabled them to share (and keep sharing) their work so broadly.
The greatest testimony to the standing of CHI's work in its field is the long list of eminent institutions that have collaborated with CHI - including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution in the US and many others internationally. From a governance perspective, CHI is meticulously managed and led. Over the past decade and a half, CHI has done more than anyone to advance the use digital photography and advanced computational technology to capture and document cultural, historic and artistic treasures.
CHI's mission is to democratize the preservation of global cultural heritage. In over a decade of painstaking, focused work, CHI has built a very solid reputation in the world of cultural heritage preservation and brought a set of incredibly powerful digital tools to conservators and "citizen-scholars" alike . These digital tools combine inexpensive digital cameras with state-of-the-art technologies and enable almost anyone to become a "citizen-scholar," which is extremely important for scale and for promoting local knowledge, authority and control. CHI's team is savvy, visionary, and has proven they're capable of delivering quality work that's been quickly adopted and made a difference.
I am personally a donor to CHI and I am also the director of a new nonprofit called HistoryTec which is a client of CHI. With the help of CHI training we at HistoryTec have successfully incorporated RTI and 3D photogrammetry in to our historical research and preservation capabilities. In addition to being a valued training resource for us, CHI has in many ways served a model and set a standard for us as we are work to grow and develop our organization.
Review from Guidestar
I have worked with Cultural Heritage Imaging since 2011 when I participated in a training workshop for Reflectance Transformation Imaging. More recently, I was able to participate in their newer offering of Photogrammetry. These types of computational photography techniques are very useful for understanding and documenting artwork in a museum environment as well as out on location. The staff at Cultural Heritage Imaging are dedicated to the mission of training the art preservation community in the steps necessary to acquire reliable and well documented data. With rapidly evolving technologies, it is important to have the incredibly knowledgeable staff at Cultural Heritage Imaging out there working to educate the art preservation audience in how to get meaningful results that don't just look pretty but actually hold scientific relevance. I highly recommend this organization.
Richard House- Senior Photographer
Yale University Art Gallery
Review from Guidestar
Few nonprofits use technology as well or to such good ends as Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI). CHI applies the best imaging technology available -- and has invented some of its own -- to the tasks of documenting and examining humanity's most fragile and inaccessible creations. In a time when technology is being used to destroy humanity's cultural legacy it is heartening that CHI is helping preserve our precious heritage.
Review from Guidestar
Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) is a great nonprofit organization that works with archivists, conservation experts, museums, archaeologists, state, national, and international park staff, scholars, and dedicated individuals to develop and implement digital processes to record and share digital image files of cultural heritage artifacts and objects. CHI's efforts are absolutely essential at a time in the world when entire cultural heritage sites are being destroyed or neglected and left to disintegrate.
Review from Guidestar