Copying flat surface subjects

The most important factors in photographing or making copies of physically flat subjects such as drawings, sheets of stamps, etc. are:

1 To be square-on to your subject.

2 To have it evenly lit.

Unless the back of your camera is truly parallel to the surface you are copying, horizontal and/or vertical lines will converge. Look very carefully around the edges of the frame to ensure that the borders of your subject line up - don't be tempted to tilt the camera a bit if the picture is not quite central (shift it sideways instead).

When using daylight through a window, come close to the glass so you have the widest possible width of illumination, e.g. lay your subject flat on a bay window sill. Evenness is further improved if you place a white card vertically facing the window on the room side of your subject just outside the picture area. Be careful about measuring exposure when your subject is on a background sheet of a very different tone, as in Figure 21.11. Stamps displayed on a black, or white, page will be over- or underexposed respectively by a general light reading. It is best to cover the whole page with a mid-gray card and measure off this surface, set the aperture and shutter speed, and then remove the card before exposing.

Figure 21.11 Copied on a window sill, lit by soft overcast daylight from above, and white card below the lens to fill in
Figure 21.12 Shot with a 50 mm lens and extension ring. Tracing Figure 21.13 Same lens and ring; f 16 was used to get eye and dis-paper diffused daylight. tant window sharp.
Digital Cameras For Beginners

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Although we usually tend to think of the digital camera as the best thing since sliced bread, there are both pros and cons with its use. Nothing is available on the market that does not have both a good and a bad side, but the key is to weigh the good against the bad in order to come up with the best of both worlds.

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