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  • Take a picture of a picture

    I have a large number of old pictures that i want to make digital and a friend of mine suggested placing each picture on a white peice of paper and then placing a peice of glass over the picuture and then taking the picture of the picture. Does this sound like it would work and give the best quality of images afterwards, I would be shooting in RAW so that i can touchup the photo later as a few are in desperate need of some processing after a few years in some non ideal conditions. i did a couple of test shots and i get alot of refelection from the glass plate as you guys had said, so i decided to shoot without the glass but i still get a refelction of the camera in the shot, is their a way to edit the reflection from the glass or the camera out?

  • #2
    Re: Take a picture of a picture

    Your best bet is to scan the images, not photograph. If you must photograph them, only use glass as a means of flattening a curly print. Then set up your equipment on a tripod and shoot from about 15-25 degrees off from perpendicular. This will distort the image some, but remove nearly all glare from the image. When you import the image into your editing program (one assumes Photoshop), you can correct the perspective with free transform or crop with perspective checked.

    The only other way I might suggest to remove the reflection if you must shoot from directly above is to shoot multiple exposures and rotate the camera, then combine all the images. Just make sure that you shoot in manual and don't change your capture settings between shots. Again, an 8-12 MP restoration will never yield as much detail as a 1200 ppi scan.

    Many of my own restorations have been scans of photographs of photographs. The originals are long gone, but the owners had the forethought to photograph (back in the film days) the remaining image. Often these (now old) photographs are beginning to deteriorate. The problems I have experienced is that the sharpness of a photograph of the photograph is never as good as the original, and fine detail of the original film grain is lost to the new film grain. My site has a few examples of this under the restoration tab.

    Good luck!

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    • #3
      Re: Take a picture of a picture

      Maybe I am wrong, but if you photograph the photos on a black piece of paper, it would not give you the reflection that white paper will give.

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      • #4
        Re: Take a picture of a picture

        I do a lot of photograhing of images--artifacts and oversize items that can't be scanned-- for a public library. I have always found the previous posters technique successful when a document or photograph is covered with some type of reflective covering. Sometimes scanning certain items with black paper behind them is helpful. When photographing a large item, I turn off my flash and set the camera to automatic timer. That permits brief timmed exposures. The photos are then cleaned up and sized to go online for the public.

        dc

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        • #5
          Re: Take a picture of a picture

          You might want to consider investing in a copystand and some polarizing filters (and probably a film SLR with a macro lens and some very fine grain film), but for most purposes it would be cheaper and easier to buy an inexpensive scanner.

          You'll still need to scan the film negatives, of course, or have them scanned by the developing lab.

          That said, there are some specific problems that I believe a copystand setup with polarizers would be invaluable for.

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          • #6
            Re: Take a picture of a picture

            Mike had some good tips on photographing photos. i believe they are in this forum. try a search on the forum search for his name or some appropriate search words.

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            • #7
              Re: Take a picture of a picture

              Sometimes, taking a picture of a picture works- you may not get it perfect- however, when you realize you don't need to make them into posters lol Just be sure to keep the originals safe for future scans if you so choose..... that way you can keep the photo and make a higher res. scan if you need something larger.... there really is no harm in trying.

              Here is a photo of a picture in a frame. My grandmother died and everyone was really unhappy with the idea that I borrow the picture to scan it- Sort of like the camera steals your soul idealogy LOL I sat it on the floor in my aunts apartment. The kitchen had far better light than the rest of the place... so I just made sure that I didn't have the actual light reflecting off the glass. Using my lil digital rebel xti with the el cheapo 50mm lens... this is what I got...

              http://img246.imageshack.us/my.php?i...img0063mo0.jpg

              this is the first picture I took of it, just to show that it takes a shot or two and it's actually on the floor lol

              http://img239.imageshack.us/my.php?i...img0064oj4.jpg

              There really is no harm in trying- I say that again because it isn't all that serious of a job for you to need a lot of extras... Heck, if you dont want to scan them- beg your neighborhood walgreen's photo employee to scan them for you- lol I used to do that LOL I know I'm a horrible person, but it helped. Best of luck

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              • #8
                Re: Take a picture of a picture

                Originally posted by OlProfBear View Post
                You might want to consider investing in a copystand and some polarizing filters (and probably a film SLR with a macro lens and some very fine grain film), but for most purposes it would be cheaper and easier to buy an inexpensive scanner.

                You'll still need to scan the film negatives, of course, or have them scanned by the developing lab.

                That said, there are some specific problems that I believe a copystand setup with polarizers would be invaluable for.
                I agree with the copy stand and the polarizers but why go with film? You can put macro lenses on a digital camera. Most any half way decent digital camera with a tripod socket will work.

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                • #9
                  Re: Take a picture of a picture

                  You know, I can't remember why I suggested film for this purpose.

                  One reason, at any rate: you can pick up a much better film SLR (used) than you can a digital camera for a given amount of money (or, actually, for less money), and a fine grain film will give you many more effective megapixels than all but multi-kilobuck digitals.

                  In either case, you will probably want to use something that can be operated manually ... though you might get away without it.

                  Alternatively, a digital that can be controlled from the computer (and can do previews on the screen) might be a good option.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Take a picture of a picture

                    This is the reason I'm searching this site!
                    On my trip to Norway to visit my grandfathers family I was introduced to a cousin who had a picture of my grandfathers-grandfather! (This be my GGgrandfather?) Anyway, I was so excited about seeing the photo my hand was shaking REAL bad. Then my camera battery died! Below is all I have of this fiasco. Needless to say another shot of it is impossible, I need to fix this one.


                    Sorry, I'll post another thread.
                    Last edited by Fedje; 11-22-2007, 07:29 AM. Reason: wrong place

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                    • #11
                      Re: Take a picture of a picture

                      fedje,

                      welcome to RP.

                      please start a new thread for your image. you'll get more help that way than appending one problem to another one. you may have to remove your image from this one and then add it in your new one. if that doesnt work, then rename your image and post it as a new one in your new thread.

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