Night at the Museum

Recently, I got an opportunity to do a shoot in the King
Tut Exhibit in New York City. It was for Dr. Zahi Hawass’s new men’s line. As well
as being a leading Egyptologist, he is also the star of the
television show ‘Chasing Mummies’ on the History Channel.

cover/back cover
images courtesy of Zahi Hawass.

It was really
unprecedented that we got access to shoot at the museum. Usually,
there are no cameras permitted inside the museum space. Obviously,
we had to do the shoot when the museum was closed as we couldn’t
interrupt the daily business of the Exhibit. That being said, the
call time was 9:30pm for crew and models. Unfortunately, there is
only one freight elevator and that closed at 4pm. So, my assistant,
James Sullivan, and I trekked over with the stuff earlier in the
day to beat the freight closing. The hardest part about doing a
location job like this is that if you don’t have what you need with
you…you just don’t have it. Period. The doors opened for us once
at 9:30, and then were closed and locked behind us. So, we brought
ALL the gear, and then the kitchen sink. We would be shooting in
the museum from 9:30pm to 7am. It was a looong night. After the
freight drop off, I got some sleep, but it’s hard to try and train
your body to stay up and focused for such a long time after you’re
normally in bed. So there was lots of coffee and red bull for us as
the night wore on. As I was working out
the lighting of the space, I wanted it to be dramatic and as much
as we could manage, have it not look like we were in a museum. I
wanted the lighting to feel like we were in a tomb with the work
lights on in the background lighting up the space. I also wanted
the lights to be shot directly into the camera lens, which creates
the sunburst/rainbow effect above. That would give the space some
life that it otherwise wouldn’t have. Using the hot lights also
adds a warmth to the photos.

We’re shooting here
against what I think was the best artifact in the museum. It’s the
“Gilded Coffin of Tjuya”. (Text from the museum): It was
made during the reign of Amenhotep III. During his reign, Amenhotep
authorized a burial in the Valley of the kings for his non-royal
in-laws. The tomb included this elaborately decorated coffin for
Tjuya. It’s spells and divine imagery ensured her successful
transition to the afterlife.

I took the photo below of this
beautiful artifact. Click to see it larger. The detail is really
exquisite.

There were certainly
restrictions and some difficulties to shooting there. The first of
course is the lock down we were in. The head of security was with
us the whole time. Basically, no one could leave until 7am when the
doors would be opened again. Also, the glass cases that these
artifacts were in had seismometers in them that would set off an
alarm and call the police/fire department if someone bumped into
them too hard. They were also temperature controlled, so that if
the temperature exceeeded 70 degrees inside the glass case, the
same thing would happen. So…I’m using hot lights… 😉 Yes, we
had to monitor the reading in the glass case a few times and
couldn’t put the lights too close to the case so it wouldn’t heat
up and set off the alarm.

One thing that no one counted
on was the music. It was the kinda creepy instrumental music that
the museum plays all day…well it played ALLLLL night as well. We
couldn’t turn it off. At about 5am we all started getting a little
loopy and the music wasn’t helping at all…lol. Art Zulu, who also
did the book design, did some wonderful compositing of some of the
images with or against images of hieroglyphics and other antiquity
artwork(all with permission). Lora Flaugh of Art
Zulu, the branding and design firm that designed and is selling the
line, has this to say about the new clothing line: “The Zahi Hawass
collection features natural dyes, vegetable dyes, and organic
cottons with environmentally friendly fabrics that deliver a bold
new look for men. The rich khakis, deep blues and soft, weathered
leathers tie together the rich tapestry of ancient Egyptian
artifacts in his new collection”.
Thanks go out to my
wonderful team:

Men’s Grooming:
Daryon Haylock First Assistant: James Sullivan

A big
thanks to everyone at Art Zulu, www.artzulu.com, for
making it a fun, “Night at the Museum”. 🙂

Edited to add some additional information, Interviewer Danny Ramadan of: http://damascusian.wordpress.com/

1.  Danny Ramadan:  Can you provide me with date, place and more information about the photoshoot. When and where did it take place? I can use quotes from your blog about the details of the photoshoot, but I want more information about specific dates and place.

James Weber:  The Shoot was on October 7th, 2010 from 9:30pm to 6:30am.  It was shot in New York at the King Tut Exhibit, 226 WEST 44TH STREET (between Broadway & 8th avenues)

2.  Danny Ramadan:  You blogged about the photoshoot on November 23rd. The revolution in Egypt took place in January 25th. Can you tell me more about the reaction to the blogpost between November and January and that after the revolution.

James Weber:  Since the blog was written on Nov. 23rd, I have not had any negative reaction to it until 4/14/2010, well after the revolution. I imagine this is when information from my post was published somewhere in a blog or newspaper in Egypt or an Egyptian blog.  The comments have been mostly negative, lambasting Dr. Hawass for doing the shoot with country resources for personal gain.  A lot of them seeking to sue him or oust him from the ministry post he now holds again.  Some of the time, the posts lambasted me as well for being a part of it, but most of their energy has been focused on Dr. Hawass.

3. Danny Ramadan:  Tell me more about the original pieces used in the photoshoot as a background and the replicas used in the photoshoots as well. In one of the photos, the model is placing his foot on one of the artifacts; is it real one or a replica?

James Weber:  The only original artifacts used in the shoots were as backgrounds.  None were ever touched.  The chair and the bench that we used are replicas.  We never would have sat a model down in a 3,000 year old artifact.  We would have also never had the chance.  All of the artifacts, such as the chairs you speak of are protected under glass.  There was also some photoshop involved in some of the images.  The one photo where his foot is up in what looks like a Hieroglyphics wall, that’s a photograph of the Hieroglyphics wall, mixed with a photo I took of the model.

4.  Danny Ramadan: Tell me more about the safety measures you and your team took to protect the artifacts; were they ordered by Zahi Hawass himself or by the New York museum? Who was there to make sure that these measures are being respected?

James Weber:  Safety of the artifacts was a primary concern for us.  The entire time that we were there, the Exhibit’s head of security was with us.  He was there to safeguard the artifacts themselves and also informed me about the safety features that the items behind glass had in them.  When I spoke of a seismometer in my blog post, that was relating to the glass itself, not the artifact inside.  If the protective glass was jarred, bumped, moved, in any way, it would trigger an alarm and the police and fire department would be called.  As for temperature control, the items inside the glass were not to exceed 70 degrees.  If the air inside the glass reached 71 degrees, it would trigger an alarm and the police and fire department would be called.  So these controls are inherent in all of the artifacts behind glass.  The, “Gilded Coffin of Tjuya”, is one example.  The entire King Tut Exhibit is temperature controlled for the safety of the artifacts.  That being said, the artifacts were never in any danger of damage from heat or being touched.  These safety measures were in place at the King Tut Exhibit prior to and after our shoot.  It’s just a part of how the New York Exhibit protects these artifacts.

5.  Danny Ramadan:  Was Zahi Hawass present at any moment during the photoshoot? Did he show you any documentation to prove he had any permission from anyone to use the artifacts to promote himself?

James Weber:  I’ve never met Dr. Hawass.  He was not at the shoot at any time.  He did authorize the shoot and make arrangements for the Head of Security we had with us, who was there to safeguard the artifacts.

The documentation question you ask was an irrelevant one at the time.  He was the Minister of Antiquities.  From that post, he was in charge of the very artifacts that we were shooting.  Prior to the Revolution, there wasn’t any question about his role in the country.

6.  Danny Ramadan:  In your opinion; was it Hawass’ right to take advantage of the artifacts for promoting himself?

James Weber:  Now whether he had the moral right or justification to do this shoot is another question entirely and it’s not my place to answer.  I believe the Egyptian people will be answering this question in due course.  In this way, I’m very happy that the Egyptian people have the right to speak up so forcefully now, so that this kind of dialogue can happen.

7.  Danny Ramadan:  Would you work with Hawass again? can you explain your answer?

James Weber:  Especially since this has been brought to such a negative light, I don’t believe I’ll be working with Dr. Hawass again.  In one respect, Dr. Hawass has done some great things for Egypt and Egyptian Antiquities over the years.  I only heard good things about him prior to the shoot.  Chasing Mummies was an exciting look behind the scenes at things most of us will never get to experience first hand.

Now, after the revolution, there are other questions that arose about things like this shoot…using country resources for personal gain.  I understand why the Egyptian people are outraged at what he and other governmental ministers were doing.  I’m sure everything will come out in due course as the Egyptian people demand answers.  This is only the beginning, and I think discourse like this is very healthy and necessary in any society.

I hope the answers to your questions have been helpful in shedding light on this shoot.  I can say with all sincerity that I love Egypt and her history and never wanted to do anything to tarnish her or her artifacts.  Thanks again for giving me the chance to respond.

Regards,
James

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53 thoughts on “Night at the Museum

  1. […] Recently, I got an opportunity to do a shoot in the King Tut Exhibit.  It was for Dr. Zahi Hawass's new men's line.  As well as being a leading Egyptologist, he is also the star of the television show ‘Chasing Mummies’ on the History Channel. cover/back cover images courtesy of Zahi Hawass. It was really unprecedented that we got access to shoot at the museum.  Usually, there are no cameras permitted inside the museum space.  Obviously, we had to … Read More […]

  2. Sarah Carr says:

    Hi there

    1. How come you were allowed to use flash?

    2. The chair the model is sitting on is a replica, right?

    • James Weber says:

      Hi Sarah,
      We were not allowed to use flash. I used an Arri Light which would not cause any damage to the artifacts. Yes, the model is sitting on two replicas. We did not touch any artifact in the museum that night.

  3. Damascusian says:

    I appreciate your art; as it seems to be extremely well-crafted and coming from a creative talented place.
    However, I can’t stop thinking of the fact that normal cameras were not allowed in the museum; not to disturb the artifacts’ temperature or cause any damage to them with light; yet, Dr. Zahi Hawass seems to forget about that in the quest to promote his men’s fashion line.
    I’m sure you tried your best not to disturb these artifacts; and you mentioned how you were requested not to push them ‘too hard’ or to watch for the light’s heat. Yet, you getting the opportunity to reach these artifacts up close and personal for the fashionline of Hawass while scientists spend months in vain trying to get permission to catch a glimpse at these artifacts.

    • James Weber says:

      Hi Danny,
      Just to let you know, this was shot in the New York City Exhibit while it was there. Yes, we were very careful and aware not to touch any artifact in the museum. The chair the model is sitting on in two photos is a replica. We never touched or harmed any artifact in the museum. Flash photography was not used as well, we were not permitted. As you can see in the photos, I used an Arri light and kept it at a good distance. The reason for the temperature controls inside the glass was for safety reasons for the artifacts. We abided by the rules of the Museum and I have a great respect for The artifacts and the opportunity I got to to be there and do the shoot. I can’t speak to the right of Zahi to do this shoot. At the time, he was the curator of the museum. It was his call. Did he overstep his bounds? As I can see from my blog stats(about 6,000 hits today) and all that has been written about it, it seems he did not have the right to do this. All I can tell you was that this was prior to the revolution and there were no questions as to whether or not this shoot could or should have happened. It seems many of the Eqyptian people have come out and are speaking up after the revolution and I think this is a wonderful thing. I’m really happy that the Real Egyptian People are getting control of their country again. All I can tell you is that I am a huge fan of Egypt and Egyptian history. It was an honor to spend the time I did in the museum and I really hope to visit the country one day.

  4. Heba says:

    It should be named Egypt Not Zhai sry this pic represent Egypt not a person :S i’m Egyptian and get very disappointed from the name 😦

  5. h.farid says:

    This is not a comment about your work artistically but rather I would like to bring to your attention to the fact that you made a political choice by being involved in this project, and by being part of a team effort (or conspiracy) to promote someone who is known to be a self-promoter and, because of current events in Egypt, is now being exposed for his part in the theft of Egypt’s antiquities. This is nothing new but at least now there is national effort to push out wrong-doers. Currently, there is a local petition being circulated to remove Zahi from his post and have him prosecuted, not to mention demonstrations in Tahrir Square against him. We (Egyptians, and especially those in the field of archeology, Egyptology and heritage at large) are horrified that he has been re-posted and made a Minister in the interim govt. We are consistently battling remnants of the old regime. He is quite hated in Egypt because it is clear what he has been doing for a long time, regardless of any good that has come out his self-created celebrity status and his promotion of Egypt and tourism. What people everywhere need to do is to boycott, protest and stage sit-ins at his book launches, clothing line launches, etc, and expose him for who he really is, in order to really support Egypt, its revolution against the decades of ‘rape of the nation’ through corruption and show solidarity for the safeguarding of Egypt’s heritage not for personal gain but for the sake of world heritage and the dignity of its custodians. I hope that you in the future you are able to make better choices when it comes to your clients and no be afraid to say ‘no’ to jobs that politically support corruption and self-gain. I’m sure you can afford it.

    • Edgard Mansoor says:

      Mr. Farid, I’m 100% on your side about what you say. Maybe and hopefully very son corruption will come to an end. You’re a gentleman and a scholar. That’s what the country needs.

  6. Iman Kaiss says:

    Dear James, like i said before i’m not questioning your work or reputation, but it’s the reputation and work of the man who made that shoot possible…
    whether it’s after or before the revolution, the act itself is unacceptable, to bring any kind of damage and i believe you tried your best to check the temperature of the hot lights you were using, but the fact that you were allowed with such lights inside is unforgiven, but yet again you’re not the one to be blamed, again it’s the man who allowed and asked you to do so, using his power and overstepping everything and anything a person in his position shouldn’t do…
    so revolution or not, this is beyond unacceptable!
    But the good thing is, that yes now we can actually hit the streets and use your article as one of the so many evidences we have against him, that have been piling up for years!

  7. Christine Foessmeier says:

    Hi James,
    As I was one of the persons who criticized this shoot at Facebook I want to make clear a few things.
    First of all I really love your photographs. They are beautiful and perfectly executed. I think you have done the best photograph of Tjuya’s coffin ever.
    But… Did you have the right to take this picture? I doubt that. But it should not be your problem. You were there by permission, and anyone being allowed into the exhibit would have done that. I, being not only an art historian/egyptologist but also a semi-professional photographer myself, would have done it, too.
    There a two problems here:
    1. We all saw a photographer who was allowed to set up a photo shoot among showcases displaying objects that are more than 3000 years old. Don’t be offended but any egyptologist or art historian or nerd would habe worried because strong light and, of course, heat can affect those objects, e.g. the paint. That’s why flash photography is not allowed in museums. You will not see the effect now but in years or even generations to come. However nobody was cricizing you personally, I think, and nobody was saying that you touched anything (though some were afraid seeing the model sit in the ancient looking chair). We were just stating that somebody knowing better should not have allowed you in there.
    2. It was clear that the person who was responsible for all that was Dr. Zahi Hawass. He is the one we criticize. He used his power as head of the SCA and “chief egyptologist” of Egypt to get you into this exhibit to shoot and promote a fashion collection called “Zahi Hawass” that brings a lot of personal profit. And that should never ever have happened.
    James, you got caught in the crossfire of an on-going discussion regarding Dr. Hawass. Everybody appreciates the beauty of the photographs, and hopefully this whole situation will get you new and better opportunities. Thank you that you took the time to explain what went on.

    • Pat Patterson says:

      Is there really any proof that flash photography causes any damage at all? This has been discussed many times in emails regarding this and I haven’t sdeen a definitive answer. If flash photohragphy is so bad for objects then any light is capable of damage. I’m sure that extensive use of floodlights in painted tombs and in museums for TV documentaries and other purposes is far more destructive on pigments. The coffin in several background shots is gold and the inlays more than likely faience, all of which are extremely unlikely to to be affected by flash or otherwise.

  8. ibrahim says:

    This is ilegal and unacceptable. You should not agree because Zahi Hawas is exploting tressures for his own bussiness. I think Zahi Hawas must go behind bars for this.

  9. ashouhdy says:

    the man responsible for this shoot in egypt is under trial now … Mr. Zahi hawass will be charged for this scandel.
    http://dostor.org/culture/news/11/april/16/40094
    use google translate to translate into english.

  10. Hi James,

    I think the reason you got 6,000 hits on your blog is that this news is featured in one of the biggest Egyptian news papers, in the top stories.

    http://dostor.org/culture/news/11/april/16/40094

    It’s in Arabic but perhaps you could translate it with Google Translate.

    I have to tell you that the article is very negative and the response from people to it is very negative too. Tee newspaper considers what happened as a kind of humiliation to Egyptian monuments and is totally inappropriate and not acceptable.

    The author does not know as well that the chair was a replica and whether the shooting took place in Egyptian Museum or in New York Exhibit a few month ago.

    If i were you, i would make a statement as soon as possible about this.

    • James Weber says:

      Hi Mohamed,
      Thank you your note and for providing the link the the newspaper. I’m not real sure how I could make a statement to them, but I can give it a shot. I appreciate your note.

      Thanks,
      James

  11. Damascusian says:

    Hey James,
    thank you for your reply.
    Are you interested in answering a small number of questions for an article I’m writing on the matter for a newspaper in NYC?
    If yes, please email me on

    best,
    D.

  12. The author is Ihab Elturky, couldn’t find his email but the newspaper twitter is
    https://twitter.com/DostorNews

  13. Diver5 says:

    Hello Mr Weber, i am not sure if you are aware that your blog is making headlines in Egypt for the last 2 days. People think that your photoshoot was in Cairo museum and that Mr Hawas has abused of his position as a minister for personal gains. People read Tut exhibit and museum and assumed it was Cairo museum. Please clariFy ASAP as they are calling it a crime

    • James Weber says:

      Yes, thank you for your comment. I have clarified it in my post that it was the New York King Tut Exhibit

    • hala makhlouf says:

      It doesn’t matter whether the shoot was at the cairo or New York Museum. I think you should agree that any government employee, nonetheless the minister of antiquity, is not allowed to own a business on the side. Moreover, to abuse our priceless antiquities (our sacred ones) for clothes line carrying his name. Even if he doesn’t own the line, was he paid for this? Any person with an acceptable IQ would tell you, he must have been paid. I think if he wasn’t the Minister of Egyptian antiquities, no one would’ve asked him to have a cloth line carrying his name.

  14. you are welcome to visit Egypt at any time

  15. Sorry to see a talented photographer caught in all of this. But it is quite clear that Hawass was seriously exploiting his post for personal gain. This is ethically and morally wrong. I hope you will be more careful in the future James.

    If this was a studio shoot with replica pieces, I would have no qualms with this. But such blatant exploitation of antiquities is disgusting. This is the hallowed Egyptian Museum, not Disneyland !!!

  16. Mohab Kamel says:

    Hello James

    If you may allow me to ask.
    Did Dr.Zahi Hawass ever called you since this topic was arose and known to public and many in Egypt ?
    And if he did -if u don’t mind- what was his reaction of you posting this ?

  17. Diver5 says:

    I read the interview you posted but it is not clear whether he owns the line or not. Do you have any information to share?

  18. […] Hawass recently launched a new clothes line, a preview of which we were lucky to see recently. Zahi “I am Egyptian Antiquities” Hawass was thankfully […]

  19. Basma Fathy says:

    Hi Mr: james Im Basma Photographer from Egypt I want ask you what a place you take a shooting excautaly ? & what a kind of lighting use ? & the primision take with Mr zahi hawas ? Good work & thanks

    • James Weber says:

      Hi Basma,
      I’d like to respond to you, but I don’t quite understand the question. Can you ask again? Maybe you used google translate?

      • Ahmed Hassanien says:

        Am sorry for interfering in what Basma Fathy Said but I wanted to translate her words to make it easier for u to get in a better way : she is asking about the place you got your shots in “exactly” and also about the type of lighting you used and also she is asking about the permission you have got to make this shot.
        Finally , i want to tell you something , you are not to be blamed for this but what Zahi Hawas did is such a crime and he should be punished for this . However i’d like to ask for your E-mail Address if you don’t mind because in the next few days your words maybe used against him so maybe the prosecution will be in need of your words as an evidence , thanks in advance . Please accept my appreciation for your good job:)

    • Abdul Rahman says:

      I’m answering the Technical stuff in ur Q, but he says it was Exhibit in New York City, yes the shoot was Zahi’s call!

      • Abdul Rahman says:

        sry i meant “i’m NOT answering the Technical stuff ” 😀
        Good James, i want to say u have no Idea how’s ur blog is stirring a controversy over here!
        we have this news title says,”that you guys was using a real artifacts and walking around the artifact with no supervision”, but i get the opposite out of your fist comment!
        here we see because it’s Zahi’s own call, for own interest!
        that this shouldn’t happened.
        thnx& keep the good work Up^

  20. Essam says:

    Hi James,
    Basma wanted to ask you about the place you were shooting at. And what kind of light did you use to keep artifacts safe. And if you have had a permission from Zahi (the ex- minister of Antiquities), soon i hope..

    • James Weber says:

      Essam, We shot this in New York’s King Tut Exhibit. All of the lighting was tungsten: ARRI 650, ARRI 500, or ARRI 300 watt lights.
      For those not familiar with this type of light it is a small tungsten studio light source.

      James

  21. mohsalah says:

    Very nice interview. All respect James.

  22. hayatylife says:

    shame on zahy hawas

  23. […] Recently, I got an opportunity to do a shoot in the King Tut Exhibit in New York City. It was for Dr. Zahi Hawass's new men's line. As well as being a leading Egyptologist, he is also the star of the television show ‘Chasing Mummies’ on the History Channel. cover/back cover images courtesy of Zahi Hawass. It was really unprecedented that we got access to shoot at the museum. Usually, there are no cameras permitted inside the museum space. Obvious … Read More […]

  24. هو ما فيش حد مخلص للبلد
    هو ما فيش حد من المسؤلين عنده ضمير
    هم كلهم حراميه كده

  25. […] Night at the Museum […]

  26. Zombie 113 says:

    Hi James Weber , I know what basma means!!! She asking about the place you SHOT this pictures in it is in Egypt or out Egypt? is you get Support from Zahi Hawas himself to SHOT this picture’s with mummy or not?

  27. Amr Assaad says:

    Hello James, I do not know you and your work looks professional. But I am interested to know a bit more about this Zahi Hawas connection, I am not sure whether you know this or not: Hawas whop has been recently appointed a minister was convicted and is going to face prison for power abuse and is also being screened for further charges. I am sure no decent professional would like to associate their name to such a felon,
    As per Basma Fathy’s question, I find it very easy to underatand:
    She want to know what kind of lighting did you use to take these photos!?
    She also wants to know who gave you the permission to shoot in the museum, and whether it is Hawas. and I hope you got right that she finally says good work and thanks

  28. hala makhlouf says:

    A beautiful piece of Art, James.However, My comment on Mr Zahi Hawass, that as a government employee, he can’t have a business on the side, nonetheless to abuse our antiquities for his own benefit, those antiquities are sacred to all egyptians. It is not his first time to abuse his authorities and power. Last year we watched in USA a kinda reality show called Chasing the mummies and I bet he was paid by the annoying producer to appear in the show and of course to give the crew an access to all ruins sites. One of the episodes, sadly we watched one of his interns peeing inside the sacred chamber that no one ever got an access to it, even Zahi himself said he went there only once. Too sad

  29. […] for the once untouchable Hawass. Recently a number of Egyptian tweeters discovered a November blog post by New York photographer James Weber that details what is describes as a “fun night in the […]

  30. Amr Muhamad says:

    oh my God
    it’s not good for our history and our culture to be used like that

  31. Mohab Ahmed says:

    I would like to thank you for your reply about that situation.I’m egyptian…and I’ve searched for your blog just to say that you are a respectable man…It’s not your fault at all and no one thinks you are wrong.Hope you’d come to Egypt someday 🙂

  32. James says:

    I worked on this shoot with James Weber both pre-production and lighting, and since there is such a huge concern about the production and lighting used for this shoot I thought it would be prudent to address those concerns.

    First it should be pointed out that we, James Weber and I met with the exhibit staff/ / curators for a nearly 3 hour production meeting.
    During that time their concerns were addressed regarding what was and what was not allowed to be photographed.
    What their lighting concerns were as well as what types of lighting were allowed to be used inside of the exhibit area.
    As I personally have worked a number of photo shoots over the years at Art & Natural History Museums I am well aware of the delicacy of the items contain their in and the concerns of the curators.
    We also had a member of the exhibit staff with us at all times.

    Let me first state that we NEVER USED STROBES for any of the photographs during this photo shoot.
    All of the lighting was tungsten: ARRI 650, ARRI 500, or ARRI 300 watt lights.
    For those not familiar with this type of light it is a small tungsten studio light source.
    While these are professional studio lights they are in many regards equal in power out put and intensity to the quartz halogen work lights that we have all seen in documentaries that archaeologists are using on dig sites and in areas were the cataloging of artifacts is being done.
    In fact those quartz halogen lights are in many instances the exact same wattage rating as the lights we used. Ours lights just have a fancy housing and a brand name on them.
    Anyone can buy the consumer version of these lights at a hardware store for around $50 U.S and achieve the same lighting effects.

    I would also like to point out that though it appears that the lights were close to the artifacts, “All of the lights were kept at a distances of 12 feet or more at all times”.
    The appearance of a strong light source is due to the wide aperture or lens opening on the camera, and the light refraction that occurred from the light passing through the display case and directly into the cameras lens.
    In several instances the only lights we used were of the actual exhibit itself.

    I hope these details helped to clarify the lighting concerns expressed in the above posts.

    James – The lighting Guy.

  33. James Weber says:

    Here’s a new article written by the New York Times. It sheds some light on things… http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/arts/design/egyptian-antiquities-official-defends-fashion-line.html

  34. Hala makhlouf says:

    Why you both mr weber and mr hawas keep insulting our intilegence, if what u said were true and that u only used replicas and that the real artifacts were used as a background and that the photo with the model leaning on the antiuqe wall was photoshoped, so then why even bother and u had the shoot taken place at the musem and sarcrifice ur night sleep, go through security hassels while u could have it done at your studio or any where else ? Do u have an answer for this ?

  35. Bingbing says:

    Well, as you have discovered, Egyptians love conspiracies and stories about conspiracies. Even Hawass loves a good conspiracy since he is always spouting off about them. Like all Egyptian conspiracy stories, if you give it enough time, this one will morph into being the fault of “Zionists.”

    For those of you who actually believe the real chair of Tutankhamun was used, why don’t you bother to look in a book with photos of the real thing and compare the two? You quickly see that the one in the photo shoot is frankly a not very good replica.

  36. Ahmed Hassanien says:

    Am sorry for interfering in what Basma Fathy Said but I wanted to translate her words to make it easier for u to get in a better way : she is asking about the place you got your shots in “exactly” and also about the type of lighting you used and also she is asking about the permission you have got to make this shot.
    Finally , i want to tell you something , you are not to be blamed for this but what Zahi Hawas did is such a crime and he should be punished for this . However i’d like to ask for your E-mail Address if you don’t mind because in the next few days your words maybe used against him so maybe the prosecution will be in need of your words as an evidence , thanks in advance . Please accept my appreciation for your good job

  37. […] James Weber wrote a blog post in Nov stating that he had a event to do a print fire during a Discovery Times Square Exposition […]

  38. Rania says:

    James,
    You did big problem in Egypt by not chosen the right words when you write.
    You kept saying the word Museum instead of exhibition, which is insane. Using the word museum in your page over and over, upset most of the Egyptians.
    I know that you did not do it on purpose, but you owe us and you owe Dr. Hawass an apology.
    Dr. Hawass is been attacking by the Egyptians News for the last couple days, and I think this is not fair. Your mistake made him in this situation, therefor I think “as an Egyptian” you should make a statement and Apologizes to him and to all the Egyptians.

  39. Hank says:

    Rania, how old are you?
    James said museum cause it was at the New York museum. Maybe you have to learn that there are more than one museum in the world.
    So what is “insane” here? You should apologize to James Weber, nothing else.

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