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Taking a Photo of a Photo

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by docshank, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. docshank


    Feb 24, 2007
    I am in the process of scanning all of my family's old family photographs (on my father's side). Some of the photos are in frames on the walls of family member's homes. Some of these photos are too large to scan and some I'd prefer not to try to remove them from the frames to scan. Given the equipment that I list in my signature, what would you suggest as the best setup? I also have three tripods and have an SC-28 sync cord. Also, if the 60mm af-d f2.8 macro lens would be a better lens to use, I would go ahead and get one. Thanks in advance for all the helpful advice.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2008
  2. rsprouse


    Jan 25, 2006
    Encinitas CA
    This is actually a fairly straightforward process. Here are a few key pointers.

    1. Get the camera square to the artwork and centered as precisely as possible - tripod is of course a must. Shooting with a moderately long lens from a distance will generally minimize distortion - you don't need a macro lens unless the pictures are very small.

    2. Use two flash units positioned at the same height as the camera and center of the artwork, positioned at 45 degrees to the artwork on either side. Putting them further away from the artwork actually makes the light more even. Reduce the ambient light to a minimum to eliminate reflections from the surface of the pictures or glass.

    3. It is probably obvious, but you don't want the on-camera flash to fire so you need to use your sync cord or an SU-800 Commander to trigger the flash units.

    4. Use manual settings on camera and flash units. Use the "sweet spot" aperture of your lens - usually two or three stops down from wide open should work fine. A little trial and error testing should get you to good settings fairly quickly.

    I think that should get the job done.

    -- Russ
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