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British Museum gets bespoke photographic studio installation

A bespoke lighting system is helping with the mammoth task of photographing and cataloguing the museum's exhibits.

The British Museum has had a bespoke lighting system installed in two of its new photographic studios, where the museum’s exhibits are photographed and catalogued. Lighting designer Philip Lyons (of Lyons Photography: Lighting Design and Installation) designed the system with the help of Doughty Engineering.

Having completed a prestigious NHS project with Doughty earlier this year, Lyons said: “I wouldn’t consider working with anyone other than Doughty on a job like this. All the jobs I work on are bespoke designs to suit specific customer needs. Doughty’s customer service is second to none and it takes only a phone call to get modifications made in order to provide a totally bespoke solution.”

Doughty’s Laurence Dyer explained: “Working with Philip we know the project is tailored specifically to the client, which is always interesting. Following a discussion with him about what the museum’s brief entailed, we supplied two pairs of Studio Rail 60 runways, which made up a rolling grid. On each of these are three more lengths of Studio Rail 60 mounted on double swivel carriages so they roll up and down the runways.”

On each of the six rolling bars, Lyons installed a Doughty lightweight pantograph mounted to a braked carriage so they can move easily along the rails. “Each pantograph is fitted with one light that gives 3k of power. We have six of these on a 6m long rig in a studio which measures just 7.5m wide!”

Dyer added, “Studio Rail 60 works perfectly for installations such as this, since the smooth operation and configuration of the grid allows the museum to hang a light in almost any position in the room, making it easy to capture images from every angle imaginable. It really is a very versatile system.”