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Photographing old framed pictures

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by fotographik, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. 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.
  2. BigPixel

    BigPixel Guest


    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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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2007
  3. 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?
  4. BigPixel

    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.
  5. here is one I shot handheld in the Hardrock Cafe, Times square. I worked with the zoom till I got it to suit

  6. Thanks again HulaMike and Dave. You both have nice shots there!

    I had'nt though of the garage either....I think my brain packed it in and quit for the day!:redface:
  7. BigPixel

    BigPixel Guest

    Might be chilly for you northerners just now but there is nothing like natural light sometimes and it's.....free and readily available.
  8. I agree with you...natural light is the BEST!!!
    It's a bit cold now...but summer is supposed to show up eventually...I hope!
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