A Larger Than Life View of Russell Lee

The variety of projects is always one of the more exciting parts of working here. For a Russell Lee exhibit that is currently on display at the Redwood Library & Athenæum in Newport, RI, we received a request through the Wittliff Collections to digitize two images of the photographer Russell Lee at a scale large enough to cover two walls in the show.

The dimensions of the photographs to digitize are 4.25″ x 3.25″ and 13.375″ x 7.875″ respectively, so creating a digital file from these with a high enough resolution to print at a final size of over 8′ at 100 px/in isn’t something even our best equipment can manage in a single shot. To solve this problem, we captured each photograph in smaller sections and then combined those together to create a seamless final image. The smaller photograph is a combination of 6 images in Photoshop for the final digital file, and the larger took only 2 images.

A photograph prepared on a copystand

One of the photographs of Russell Lee prepared on the capture station.

Once we had our final image, we knew we wanted to see for ourselves what they could look like when printed for the wall. This is where we love having the help of our digital technicians to demonstrate!

Two panels of a photographic print being held up near stairs

Digital technicians holding two panels of a print side by side outside of Alkek Library.

Two students on side and one student sitting above a long, narrow print on the floor

A cropped section of the smaller original photograph on the floor, with students for scale.  From the left: Jessica Henriquez, Reba Jenson, and Allen Garza.