High School yearbook page copying?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Fatfreek, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. Fatfreek

    Fatfreek Guest

    My 50th high school reunion is coming up and it's an opportunity for me to
    get copies of certain yearbook pages of mine that were damaged for one
    reason or another. I'll try to get several other classmates to bring their
    yearbooks as well.

    I will not be toting my page scanner and computer 1800 miles. I will,
    however, have my tripod and my camera, a good point and shoot, Panasonic
    Lumix DMC-FZ7. It has up to a 12X optical zoom. I've read the instructions
    on "Taking Close-Up Pictures".

    I gather that I probably want to set the camera to Aperture priority with
    some high number to have greater depth of field latitude.

    I'm confused as to how close I should have the lens to the page. In wide
    angle zoom I can get as close as 2 inches but by tele zooming I can back
    away from the object up to 6 1/2 feet.

    Any suggestions? Bring some portable lamp? By the way, these pages are all
    black and white.

    Len Miller
    Fatfreek, Jun 7, 2007
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  2. Fatfreek

    Rob Morley Guest

    As the subject is totally flat you can get away with minimal depth of
    field as long as the focus is correct and the subject is parallel to the
    focal plane. The lens probably performs best at a medium aperture
    setting and medium focal length.
    You want to be far enough away that the lighting is even but close
    enough that it's convenient to work. If the tripod has a reversible
    column I'd reverse it, fully extend the tripod and suspend the camera
    underneath it parallel with the table surface, then zoom so a single
    page just fills the frame.
    You need to be careful to avoid uneven lighting and glare - if you can
    do the shooting outside some time around mid-day with an overcast sky
    you won't have to worry about that. If you're working in a window a
    silver reflector on the room side will even up the light.
    If you're going to use artificial light at close range you'll need to
    diffuse it - I'd use a pair of flashguns, one on each side of the
    camera. You could make a bounce/softbox attachment to convert the on-
    camera flash into a sort of ringflash. If you're in a room with
    parallel striplights on the ceiling just place the table between them.
    Use the lower ISO setting, medium aperture, self-timer or remote shutter
    Rob Morley, Jun 7, 2007
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  3. Fatfreek

    Fatfreek Guest

    Thanks to you suggestion I just "discovered" a 1/4-20 male thread protruding
    from the bottom end of the gear rack rod mount. Beautiful.
    I never thought of window lighting. I suppose I could bring some aluminum
    foil and some cardboard on which to fasten it.

    If the motel has a large atrium, that may be a good area for plenty of even
    Thanks for that wealth of tips, Rob.

    Fatfreek, Jun 7, 2007
  4. Fatfreek

    Pat Guest

    You might want to use a "soft light" source like this.
    Pat, Jun 7, 2007
  5. Fatfreek

    Alan Browne Guest

    Not too high. About 2 - 3 stops closed from wide open.
    1) As much as possible shoot at the distance and focal length (zoom)
    that gives you the least distortion. You can determine this with some
    graph paper or a brick wall.

    2) Avoid shooting wide open. Try to shoot 2 - 3 stops closed from wide
    open. (For sharpness and DOF). As your camera has a slowest aperture
    of f/8 and fastest of f/2.8 ... f/5.6 to f/8.

    3) Use an easel for the pages and a tripod for the camera.

    4) Two off camera lights striking the paper at about 45° from each side.
    Lights should be several multiples of the page size away to ensure
    even lighting. More or less level with the lens. Use flash if
    possible, or two reasonably bright tungsten lamps. Set white balance to
    5500K for flash, or 3800K for tungsten. (a couple 100W would be
    sufficient; a couple 200W would be my choice).

    If only one light, then near the camera lens axis as long as the paper
    is not shiny or behind glass.

    5) Have means to clamp down the paper flat. This could include glass
    (see lighting above)

    6) Shoot with the "film" plane parallel to the paper.

    Have fun.
    Alan Browne, Jun 9, 2007
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