Lights, Camera, Rock Art!

Another brilliant day on site at Maeshowe and Skara Brae. At Maeshowe we spent our time filming sequences entering the passage (we plan to use the footage to make a comparison with the stoop through passage B at Skara Brae) and experimenting with what the light could do around the entrance. Not many people can say they’ve been in Maeshowe with the lights off! We found that the light from the entranceway was very striking. Where it hit the back wall Rob (the tour guide who accompanied us while we worked) noticed that the light bounced from the back wall into the two side chambers and that their bend maximised use of this lighting. We also experimented with holding a blanket over the area of the entrance where the blocking stone would have been moved into place. As the blocking stone does not reach the top of the chamber the effect when our blanket was held half way up from the floor was very unusual. Instead of the shadow being cast along the floor it actually casts downwards, appearing upside down. Very odd…and slightly off task, but very interesting!

Back at Skara Brae we revisited our footage from the day before and thought through our narrative journey through the passageways from House 1 to House 7. We want to acknowledge the scratch art around the entranceway to Passage B as being significant and spent some time studying it and considering what visual cues we could use in the film/visualisation to reflect this. Perhaps the film footage could switch with the 3D model and the scratch markings could appear painted to emphasise their location and nod to the fact that we know from other similar sites like the Ness of Brodgar that parts of the structures were painted with pigments.

Aaron and Alice surveying the scratch art in Passage A at Skara Brae.

While Kieran got some close up photogrammetry of the scratch art, Aaron and I tried out a concept I had for the movement through Passage B. In this section of our narrative we wanted to emphasise how claustrophobic and uncomfortable this passageway to House 7 is as the walls get closer and the passage slopes down. I suggested that at points in the footage the camera could catch a hand scrabbling to pull the protagonist along the passageway and looking back through the footage over lunch it seems to have worked quite well!

In the afternoon we walked up to the cliffs to get some contextual shots looking back towards the village. We’re not sure if we’ll use them for sure, but its good to have the option at this stage.

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