Photos of Photos


Link Posted 25/07/2010 - 00:21
Whats the best way to take photos of photos? My old wedding photos are mounted in their album and too big to fit on my flatbed scanner, so I plan to photograph them instead - so I can add them to my electronic collection.

Whats the best way to do this:
- Outdoors in daylight?
- on a grey overcast day or sunny day
- how do I avoid reflections or shadows of me taking the photo?
- what focal length?
- looking down at photo on the floor or facing photo on a stand?
Pentax K-x, DA18-55 lens, DA50-200 lens, Metz 48 Flash


Link Posted 25/07/2010 - 09:09
If these are professional wedding photos, then copying them may well violate the photographer's copyright. I know that people can feel quite dismissive about this, but sometimes less so when it's their turn to have things "lifted", probably these days from the web.

However, in a general sense, photo copying is best done on a copying board, which usually has two or four (better) lights at the edges/corners providing light at 45 degrees. This will minimise reflections. Stippled surfaces on prints may cause problems and will take the edge off sharpness.

A simpler and OK-for-eBay method is to put the print or magazine on the floor, point the camera at it making sure it's on a sturdy tripod and parallel to the subject, and use the 2 second self timer to eliminate shake. Lighting can be quite a dark room and the exposure can be a long one, as long as the light is even and not causing reflections.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 25/07/2010 - 09:13
My recommendations are

- outdoors in shadow (north side of house) and set colour balance to shadow
- sunny day gives you better light
- to avoid reflections, use a polafilter
- longer rather than shorter focal length (e.g. 50 mm)
- the position depends on what is available

A macro lens is preferrable, because it is optimised for plane objects.
A tripod is essential for sharpness, and use remote release or timer delay to avoid any camera shake.
Make sure your camera and photo are parallel.

This is how I would have approached the task. I'm sure somebody else will correct me soon. But luckily, with digital you can experiment until you have the perfect result.
Best regards

K20D, Optio I10, DA 18-55 1:3.5-5.6 AL II, A 1:1.7/50, D FA 1:2.8/100 Macro, Sigma 70-300 1:4-5.6 APO DG Macro, Pentax AF 360FGZ


Link Posted 25/07/2010 - 20:52
Thanks for your help chaps

I tried all combinations you suggested - apart from the copying board which I'm sure would be the business.

Strangely I ended up with the best results by hand-holding the camera and putting the photos by the front door with it open and some natural light coming in. Whereas all the outdoor ones either came out underexposed or grainy both in shade and without - all taken from a tripod and timer. Even my best results seem pretty low resolution compared to the original prints.

Regarding copyright, good point. These photos were taken 19 years ago and the photographer business is no longer in existance. If it was I would offer to pay for a CD of the photos.
Pentax K-x, DA18-55 lens, DA50-200 lens, Metz 48 Flash
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