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Old Jun 2, 2011, 9:06 PM   #1
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Default Taking a picture of a... picture

I'm trying to take a picture of a 70 year old photo. It's in a frame, behind glass, and the picture appears to be badly fractured or cracked, so I dare not take it out of the frame.

I thought that a cpl would cut the glare off of the glass, but I'm still getting reflections coming through.

Any ideas as to how to get the shot?

Thanks

Jim
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Old Jun 2, 2011, 9:14 PM   #2
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Polarizers will only reduce reflections at certain angles. Try using two identical lights in reflectors on either side of the subject so that they shine down at a 45 degree angle (like this \/ ) with the camera directly over the subject. There should be no other light sources in the room other than those lights. A custom white balance is in order.
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Old Jun 2, 2011, 9:37 PM   #3
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Possibly, very diffuse light sources, and/or a light tent.

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Old Jun 3, 2011, 1:43 AM   #4
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These were taken from framed pictures behind glass at my grandmothers house. I position myself slightly to the side to prevent reflections and glare.
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Old Jun 3, 2011, 4:33 AM   #5
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Although you said you do not want to unmount the photo, if you are serious about preserving the image, you may want to make a high resolution scan (if the negative is unavailable). The image is deteriorating more as time goes on. Fading, potential fungus etc. Because it is a print, it is a copy of the negative so it is not an original. The best thing you can do for it is to digitize it. Carefully remove it from its frame and make a high quality (hi res) scan on a flatbed scanner. Now it can be digitally restored and archived. You can make a print of identical size and put it back in the frame if you like but the digital file will not change over time the same way the paper print certainly is.
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Old Jun 3, 2011, 7:04 AM   #6
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Bob Nichols advice is the best with one addition. If you get some black paper slightly larger than the picture frame you are shooting, cut an X in the middle and stick your lens through it. Now if your camera is directly over top looking down at 0 you should see no reflection because the only thing reflecting in the glass will be black paper. The lights at 45 on each side will give you even illumination. And remember your WB should be set to incandescent or whatever your light source is.
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Old Jun 3, 2011, 10:52 AM   #7
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I agree that scanning is probably the best way, if possible. I have had to restore a couple 8x10 prints which were mounted without mats, though, and they had stuck to the glass. Scanning through glass doesn't give really good results, so the process was rather time consuming.

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Old Jun 3, 2011, 1:42 PM   #8
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Thanks, everyone! I tried an approximation of Bob's idea and it worked well. I used normal room lights coupled with a tripod and long exposures and a cpl and I was able to get the shots. It was a panoramic, so it took three shots to get it all in, stitched together in photoshop. I would have tried the black paper idea, but I didn't see that soon enough before this mornings trials. Instead, I stepped away from the camera when I snapped the shots to eliminate my own reflection.

I don't know if my scanner would do better than my camera, but I'm sure a high quality scanner would have advantages. I figured such a move was a one-way trip for the photo though, given the cracking and curling I can see through the glass, and I'm not in a position to make that call (this is for a buddy of mine). Funny how owning a pickup, and now a quality camera, gains friends.
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Old Jun 11, 2011, 7:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iowa_jim View Post
Thanks, everyone! I tried an approximation of Bob's idea and it worked well. I used normal room lights coupled with a tripod and long exposures and a cpl and I was able to get the shots. It was a panoramic, so it took three shots to get it all in, stitched together in photoshop. I would have tried the black paper idea, but I didn't see that soon enough before this mornings trials. Instead, I stepped away from the camera when I snapped the shots to eliminate my own reflection.

I don't know if my scanner would do better than my camera, but I'm sure a high quality scanner would have advantages. I figured such a move was a one-way trip for the photo though, given the cracking and curling I can see through the glass, and I'm not in a position to make that call (this is for a buddy of mine). Funny how owning a pickup, and now a quality camera, gains friends.

Print shops that print wide format banners etc. can generally scan larger items in high resolution.
Bumper sticker on my truck, "yes this is my pickup....and no I can't help you move"!!
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