getting paper flat?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by veke, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. veke

    veke Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Shooter:
    35mm
    When trying to copy old album photos I have put the photo on the floor and shooting from above. But the photo isn´t perfectly flat especially bigger ones 18x24cm and 24x30. Can one use a glass plate on the photo, or is there some special trick or device? I can imagine that the glass gives some reflections and those are not desirable. What would you suggest?
     
  2. richard ide

    richard ide Member

    Messages:
    1,227
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Location:
    Wellington C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think a glass plate is your best option; just position things so there are no reflections.
     
  3. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,108
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Photographing flat art is a bit of a science in itself. Reflections are diffcult.

    Paper prints - you could use a vacuum easel to hold them flat, or you can crop them just a hair and use magnetic rulers to hold the edges down. Light the pictures from both sides, at a 45 degree angle, and place the camera above the top of the lights. If you have polarized light sources, that will help in creating a good copy.

    You could get a copy stand too, which has the camera mount built in, and the lights, and a flat surface for the items you photograph.

    If you weigh down the prints with glass, reflections will become an issue. You might be able to eliminate some of that by using a polarizing filter on the camera lens, but it's going to be difficult at best.
     
  4. veke

    veke Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thank you, Richard and Thomas. Today I will test with the glass. I am a little sceptical, the reflections may be a real headache. A polarizer might be the solution, I will lose 1,5 stops I think. I have no idea what a polarizer does to saturation and tones. I remember seeing color shots where a polarizer has been used and the sky is extremely blue and other colors like "candy" but what happens with a b/w photo. No idea, so far.

    Another day at work, another nights in the darkroom. so it goes...

    Veke
    Oulu, Finland
     
  5. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,263
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  6. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

    Messages:
    1,440
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Location:
    Penfield, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2013
  7. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,627
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Just use a bit of masking tape on each corner.
     
  8. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,895
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    As Thomas mentioned you may use polarizer... on both the lights AND the camera.

    You adjust the lights to be polarized one direction, and the lens to be polarized counter to the lights. (Just turn the polarizer to minimize the reflections).

    I use a pair of 6-inch 3M polarizers for the lights that I picked up a while back opportunistically off eBay.
     
  9. veke

    veke Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Shooter:
    35mm
    thank you, John. Didn´t think of that, I am sure there are such products available here also. I will try. It would be best if the adhesive would be the size of the paper or even a little bigger, just put the photo on it at then after copying cleanly tear it away.