Photographing old framed pictures

Joined
Jul 24, 2006
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1,017
Location
Gatineau, Canada
What would be the best set-up (lighting, camera settings, etc.) to capture old photos that are either framed (with the glass removed) or in large photo albums where they are "matted". I have a bunch that are impossible to place on a scanner and I was thinking that I could do it with my DSLR. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
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BigPixel

Guest
Frank,

It can be as simple as this. I wanted to use some old pics of myself for a recent birthday party and had no scanner. I shot these with my 6 MP Fuji S2 in subdued natural light, a shady spot out doors actually. I taped the old pics to a board, set up with a tripod and bracketd shots in natural light. I used a reasonably fast zoom lens (Nikon 28-70 f2.8) as I was shooting many different sizes and didn't want to mess with moving the tripod every shot. I used aperture priority with lens wide open as there was zero depth of field to worry about. I shot RAW, bracketed 3 steps.

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Here's the very crude set up. You can see that I didn't spend a lot of time squaring the image up in camera. Its easy to fix that in PS and probably would have needed squaring-up anyway no matter how carefully I tried to shoot a perfectly square and level image.

In Photoshop you would level the shot then activate the rulers and drag in guidelines all four sides of the image. Next go: Select All > Edit > Transform > Distort. Using the control boxes in the corners you simply pull the image square to the guidelines then crop and edit.

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Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Messages
1,017
Location
Gatineau, Canada
Thanks for the info HulaMike. That's pretty much what I was coming up with except for the bracketing... that's a good idea.

As for lighting, outdoors is not really a viable option for me right now because of all the crappy weather we're currently getting. If I were to use an artificial light source, I guess I would have to place one on either side?
 
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BigPixel

Guest
yea, at wide angles so that you won't get any glare. You could always shoot in a garage if you have one. Shoot just inside the door. Once again, if you shoot RAW, you can easily adjust exposure and WB in the converter.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2005
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22,474
Location
Richmond, Va
here is one I shot handheld in the Hardrock Cafe, Times square. I worked with the zoom till I got it to suit

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BigPixel

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Might be chilly for you northerners just now but there is nothing like natural light sometimes and it's.....free and readily available.
 

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