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prints on glass

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Old 10-27-2008, 01:23 PM
Rlowis Rlowis is offline
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prints on glass

I had a women bring in two prints from the 30's. the prints look like they were mounted on glass. Of course the glass is now cracked and she wants to know what I can do. All I have is an Epson flat bed scanner, so I am not sure how one would scan such and item Any help or experience with same would be appriciated


Ron Lowis
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:17 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: prints on glass

These were typically ambrotypes. They were designed to have a dark (normally black) background attached to allow the image to show up. So, in scanning these, you will need to ensure there is a dark backing. You will have to experiment with different lighting settings, finding the one that reveals the most detail.

Normally, we recommend you turn OFF any scanner settings that auto-correct any color, noise, etc. This is usually done more carefully in Photoshop. While a very high resolution sounds good, it could reveal more damage and cause more hours repairing. There is usually a good compromise somewhere between 600-1200 dpi. Just make a few scans of each and label them according to resolution; then, pick the best.

Another alternative is to photograph the images. With diffused light of the right color temperature, a good tripod and stand, and a good digital camera the output rivals that of many scanners. You can also control the reflections a bit more. So, try that as well and compare against the scans.
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:59 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: prints on glass

Ron, If it is the curved glass it would probably be better to shoot it in the studio.. Blacked out to limit reflections.. Move back and put some distance between the print and the camera. Depth of field will of course be better and you will get away from the distortion caused by the depth of the print. Use at least a 90mm up to a 150mm lens to flatten things and both lights (@ 45 Degree Angles) and lens should be Polarized.. (lights vertical and the lens horizontal).. use a f-stop (f16, F22) for best depth of field.. do not shoot at an angle.. using a sturdy tripod, make sure things are lined up and the center of the lens is at the same level as the center of the photos and parallel to the pictures.. Consider shooting tethered so you can check the images on the computer as you do them.

These threads also discuss the problem:
Digitizing really old pictures
Scanning a Convex, Oval Photo

If the pictures are stuck or mounted to Flat glass.. remove the pictures from their frames, glass and all, and scan the whole thing. OR scan in sections and paste back together in Photoshop. Following Tommys instructions above if you need a black background.

This thread might help with the cracks in the glass:
Scanners, textures, scratches, cracks, silvering

Last edited by 0lBaldy; 10-27-2008 at 04:05 PM.
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