Lighting for copying

Photographic copying means accurately recording two-dimensional subjects such as artwork, photo prints, montages and paste-ups. You can turn prints into slides, slides into prints, or color into black and white. The essential technique is to light as evenly as possible, and have the camera set up square-on. Drawings, pictures and clips from papers are best taped against black cardboard, attached to the wall and lit by two floodlights positioned about 30° to the surface. Keep each flood well back from the original to help ensure even illumination. Check lighting with a pencil (Figure 24.10) held at right angles to the original. The two shadows should be equally dark, the same length and together form one straight line.

To copy a slide, you can improvise by laying it horizontally on opal plastic, masked along all four edges with wide strips of black card. Illuminate the plastic from underneath using a floodlight (bounced off white card to avoid heat damage). Support the camera square-on and directly above, fitted with close-up extension tubes or bellows to allow a same-size image. Alternatively, use a slide copying attachment (Figure 24.11) added to an SLR fitted with tubes or bellows. The slide slips into the far end of the attachment, in front of a light diffuser.

Figure 24.10 Set-up for copying paste-up photo prints, drawings and other flat work.
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