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A Digital Photo

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Old 12-08-2004, 06:24 PM
Michaelc Michaelc is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 5
A Digital Photo

Hi Everyone,

I have a client who requires a 58cm x 68cm restoration but is not financial enough to pay for the lab scan. So, I'm looking at taking a digital photo of it myself and never having given it a go would appreciate any tips for a decent result. I have a Konica Minolta A2 (8MP) with the standard fitted lens (35mm eqiv: 28-300mm) but no studio lighting, only our glorious, natural, Australian summer light and a Minolta 5600 flash unit.


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Old 12-09-2004, 12:32 AM
roger_ele's Avatar
roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Sacramento, California
Posts: 620
Hi Michael,

This is on my list for a tutorial, taking photos with and with out a copy set up instead of scanning .... so I have been thinking about how to shoot example set ups and such. This is both easy and really hard to explain - I have thought of a trick that might make it easier to understand, so if you don't mind I will try it out on you if it works for you than I know it will be good in the tutorial ...

- There are many ways to set this up that would work, but the safest is in very soft indirect light
- Camera approximately at right angles to the piece being copied, you can be above looking down or horizontal with the original being photographed against a wall. If you are alittle off you can use free Transform to adjust it.
- Here is the test, take a piece of aluminum foil ... crumple it up and flatten it ... the spot you pick should have no light source behind the camera - specular or diffused - no sky, no sun hitting a building - you should be able to look at it and say light is not really bouncing off of or coming from there. Place the aluminum foil in different trial spots - the spot which gives the least bright reflections off of the foil is the spot that will work the best.

The foil test only aplys to originals that are not totally matte. Matte originals you can put anywhere the light is even - even in the sun - unless they are heavily textured - then back to soft light of other lighting set ups.

You will want to use a spot where the light is pretty even. For instance, if the source of light in a room is a window and the window is to the side (it would not be behind you as this would cause too much glare off of the surface of the original), you would not want the original right next to the window as the light falls off (gets darker) too quickly, you would move the original down the wall until the light appears even.

In a room you might try a room with window to the side(s) and a wall behind you. Or maybe an arbor the is really filled in outdoors if you want to get on a ladder and shoot from above (more work to keep the camera steady).. If you shoot horizontally with the original being photographed propped up vertically it is lot easier to use a tripod and to keep the camera steady. Or maybe between two buildings at a time of day when both buildings and the ground in between them are in the shade ...

Don't be afraid to use a tripod and slower shutter speeds.

It takes some practice looking at different situations and the lighting circumstances that are created.

Good luck,
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Old 12-09-2004, 10:21 PM
Michaelc Michaelc is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 5
Thanks Roger, much to think about, thank you.

I've now been informed that the image is framed but not behind glass and it will be brought over to me so that should simplify things.

Point taken with the tripod. That is now a cert and I should be able to experiment with optimum distance between lens and image to reduce lens distortion, keeping 50mm as the base and a healthy aperture setting.


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