|California Settlers Reference Sources Photographing Documents|
Using a copy stand:
The copy stand should be mounted on a low table so the camera controls and eyepiece are at a comfortable height.
The main points to remember when using a copy stand are that you need to control glare, shadows, and the level of lighting. Reflectors that fill in shadows, diffusers that soften harsh light, and lights can all assist in accomplishing this goal. While good copy work can be done with ambient light, you must watch out for shadows and reflections; more consistent results are obtained by using enhanced lighting.
Colored with an 18 percent gray scale to set the exposure.
Sandbags: These will keep your C-stand, light stands, and tripods from tipping over if bumped.
-- No flash is necessary if your subject is well illuminated with 2 to 4 high-watt bulbs (e.g., 150-300 Watt, 120 Volt flood lamps) I found that with 4 50W bulbs my camera set the exposure to 1/640 @ f3.2 with an ISO setting of 100 which should be sufficient.
One or two on each side, should be illuminating the work evenly at 45 degree angles to the work, sweeping the artwork so that it is evenly lit. Move the lamps back and forth to achieve the most even lighting without glare spots, but keep them at 45 degree angles. If using daylight, make sure that the work is evenly lit and has no shadows or glare spots. Do not obstruct the light with your camera or body.
An piece of non-glare, a quarter inch thick, to place over the photograph. Note: Be careful to adjust the lighting to remove any glare from the glass.
Fluorescent light sources can appear to oscillate due to differences between the frequency of the light source and the frequency of sampling of the CCD.
All lamps should be the same color balance (3400K or 3200K for photo lamps) and brightness in order to provide uniform results.
Light level should be about two stops stopped down from max aperture.
If you are photographing an oil painting use a polarizing filter to reduce glare due to different reflecting properties of pigments.
White Balance: This important setting is easy to forget. A digital camera can adjust colors according to lighting so that colors that appear white to the human eye also appear white when viewed in the final photograph. If you use an incandescent light source, you will need to set your camera for such to improve color reproduction. Unfortunately, even if you set the white balance accordingly, the colors may appear "off" (usually too red) if you use a polarizing filter. This will require you to hold the specimen in front of the image as it is displayed on a computer and adjust the color balance and saturation levels using imaging software like Adobe Photoshop (see image manipulation techniques).
A normal lens will have less aberration and distortion than a telephoto which has more complex optics.
Use a remote shutter release to minimize camera movement.
Use low ISO (50) film for higher contrast and sharp detail.
Copying from documents: (Source: Somerset County Photography Club)
APT BookScan 1200 automatically turns pages 5-10 sec. page - $125,000 Google books & libraries use it Bookeye - $10,000 Copy stand split base one side higher so book sits flat and is same distance from camera Artiz scanner for rare books www.atiz.com BookDrive Pro Mini $5,000 plus cameras DIYSee:
Digital Cameras and Genealogy - Copying Family Photos
My Photograhy notes
Taking Slides of Artwork
Types of Lights
Cameras and Techniques at Digital Researcher
Digital imaging tips for fish at the Academy of Natural Sciences Planetary Biological Inventories Project Catfish page.