How do I take a picture of a picture.

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Jimbo, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. Jimbo

    Jimbo Guest

    I have a bunch of old pictures that I want to preserve. I don't want
    to use a computer
    to scan them in, just 35mm film.

    I know that this is probably an easy answer for you so please share it
    with me.

    I am using an eos elan 7e.

    1. How do I mount the pictures, since they are old I don't want to use
    tape.
    2. What background do I use?
    3. What kind of lighting do I use to avoid glare; is outdoor light ok?
    4. What type and speed of film to use. I don't want to use slide film.

    I have a mixture of black/white and color pictures, some are mounted
    in frames as old
    as the pictures themselves. All different dimensions from wallet
    sizes to 8X10.
    All are my family photos.
    I would rather take the pictures myself and not go to a professional
    agency.

    And any other hints that you think might help.


    Thank you for your help.
     
    Jimbo, Nov 12, 2003
    #1
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  2. When I am photographing pictures particularly ones behind glass that for one
    reason or another cannot be used I prefer to use subdued day light and
    photograph with a large black cloth surrounding the camera lens I usually am
    able to get a couple of people to hold the cloth which has a hole cut in it
    just big enough for the lens.
    If the photos are unmounted you could fasten them to a support board with
    blu tack or magic tape doubled over.
    if they are behind glass just prop them aganist a wall and adjust the angle
    you shoot from to match.
     
    Darryl Fernance, Nov 12, 2003
    #2
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  3. Jimbo

    Gavyn Aaron Guest

    : I have a bunch of old pictures that I want to preserve. I don't want
    : to use a computer
    : to scan them in, just 35mm film.
    :
    : I know that this is probably an easy answer for you so please share it
    : with me.
    :
    : I am using an eos elan 7e.
    :
    : 1. How do I mount the pictures, since they are old I don't want to use
    : tape.
    : 2. What background do I use?
    : 3. What kind of lighting do I use to avoid glare; is outdoor light ok?
    : 4. What type and speed of film to use. I don't want to use slide film.
    :
    : I have a mixture of black/white and color pictures, some are mounted
    : in frames as old
    : as the pictures themselves. All different dimensions from wallet
    : sizes to 8X10.
    : All are my family photos.
    : I would rather take the pictures myself and not go to a professional
    : agency.
    :
    : And any other hints that you think might help.
    :
    :
    : Thank you for your help.

    On mounting the prints, I would use a matte technique. I understand that
    they are old prints, and of course you would never want to use regular tape.
    However, acid-free linen tape exists just for this purpose. Any art supply
    store or Hobby Lobby will have this in stock. It is completely safe for the
    photos in spite of age (obviously, museums use it for mounting old prints).
    Use that with acid-free matte board and you should be fine.

    Use a plain background that doesn't detract from the background in the photo
    itself. I would stay away from outdoor light as you really don't want to
    expose old printed photos to direct sunlight. So use inside available
    lighting for the shot.

    On the film, I would probably choose Fuji's NPH for this. It's a
    professional color film (best kept refrigerated until use) that in my
    experience has produced fantastic results.

    ~G~
     
    Gavyn Aaron, Nov 12, 2003
    #3
  4. I haven't done this for a while, but when I did, I mounted the camera on
    a tripod and added light from the left and right at about a 45 degree
    angle. This seemed to minimize any reflections. I focused tightly so
    that I didn't have to worry about what was around the picture. I also
    was using mounted pictures, so I didn't have to worry about curl or what
    have you. You're on your own on that one.
     
    Robert Peirce, Nov 13, 2003
    #4
  5. Jimbo

    Guest Guest

    I used an SLR to take pics of library book pics (for class reports).

    I set the book on horizontal surface. clamped pages together with clips to
    'flatten' most of the curve from the pages.

    had 150w par a few feet away from the side, as close as possible while still
    avoiding as much reflection as possible. and avoiding locating the light
    fixture in frame of the shot. :)

    sometimes there was reflection from the book page's finish.
     
    Guest, Nov 15, 2003
    #5
  6. More importantly, you need a lens that will focus close enough. Any lens
    with macro capability should be ok for the smaller ones.

    You don't, usually. Get a piece of glass big enough to cover your largest
    photo and use it to hold is flat. Don't use glass that is too thick as it
    can add a cool cast to the image.

    You don't. Fill the frame with the photo as much as you can. Where you
    can't fill the frame completely because of the ratio of the image is not 2:3
    (eg 8"x10" is 4:5) it's useful to work with a white baseboard. Some people
    use black but it doesn't matter too much since the image will be trimmed
    back to the original ratio.

    Normal copy stand lighting is two lamps on either side at 45 degrees to
    avoid refections from the glass or the copy. Turn off the room lights.
    Photofloods from a photo store are a cheap solution, or you can go quartz
    halogen and use tungsten film, or use two flashes and daylight film. Have
    the lights far enough away so that the lighting is even and you don't get
    hot spots on either side. Careful use of a hand held meter is highly
    recommended for setting up. After set up the same exposure is used for just
    about every exposure, as long as you don't alter the lighting at all.

    Just about anything will give a result but there are specialised copy films
    not normally available in small batches. Pick a speed that gives you a
    useful exposure with whatever lighting you choose. Use a fine grain film if
    you're going to be enlarging the images. Withough going to a specialised or
    profession film, I've had good results from Fuji Superior 200.

    Use a tripod and a shutter release. Not only is it easier, you'll get a
    much sharper result. Many tripods allow you to mount the camera underneath
    the extendable centre section, pointing straight down which is perfect for
    copy work. Make sure the tripod legs don't cast a shadow on the copy.

    Use f/8 or f/11 if you can as it will give a sharper result also. (general
    rule for just about any lens).

    Most SLR viewfinders don't show you the whole image as it will be recorded
    on film. If you just fill the viewfinder, you will often find the prints
    will come back showing a small amount of the baseboard around the outside.
    Have a look at the camera manual and find out what the viewfinder "coverage"
    is. Most likely around 93 or 95 percent.

    You might want to do some tests first, both on viewfinder coverage, and the
    lighting/exposure. Colour balance can be difficult with a duplicate, even
    with a specialised copy film. If it really matters, use a pro lab and give
    them the originals to match to. They will of course charge you extra for
    this. :)


    Chris.
     
    Chris Robinson, Nov 18, 2003
    #6
  7. Jimbo

    Mike King Guest

    I did this a lot and made my salary doing this for a studio for six years so
    take what I say with a grain of salt.

    Shoot indoors, use regular glass to hold the photos flat, use two lights at
    a rather low angle to minimize reflections. Use a black cardboard at camera
    with a hole cut in it for the lens to peep through if you get reflections.
    If the column of your copy stand or tripod reflect use bits of black
    cardboard to eliminate reflections by taping them anywhere you see a
    reflection when viewing the image. Sort your images by magnification so
    that you can (for example) copy all the 4x6 pints before changing your setup
    to copy another size. For Black and White I used medium format TMax 100
    (35mm OK too--stay away from Tech Pan, Pan F, etc. too fussy and too
    contrasty.) For color I used Kodak's VPS (in the old days) I now use the
    daylight balance Portra NC with a blue 80A filter (the tungsten stuff is
    higher in contrast) for lower contrast I'll occasionally shoot one frame
    with a prefog to lower contrast.
     
    Mike King, Nov 19, 2003
    #7
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