Last fall, I did a presentation at B&H on using your camera as a scanner, based on my book Digitizing Your Photos. The webinar proved a pretty detailed overview of the camera scanning process for prints, slides and negatives. For those unfamiliar with the process, or for people who have been struggling to get high quality scans, there is a lot of good information in here.
Our Movie of the week this week is a long one. I had the pleasure of chatting with my old friend Frederick Van a couple weeks ago. We talked about photography, workflow and my new book on scanning photo collections. The video podcast is embedded below.
This video from Digitizing Your Photos outlines two related types of film copying equipment – rail systems and bellows systems. I’ve been using these systems for more than a decade to digitize large amounts of my own film. They are fast to use and relatively easy to set up for a photographer experienced with lighting.
At the moment, these systems are do-it-yourself, but we’re working on finding someone to produce them commercially. In the meantime, we’re about to start renting ones I personally own. Click here to find out more.
When digitizing your photos, it’s important to capture any “nearby” information. Dates and notes on slide mounts, writing on the back of prints, notes on boxes and envelopes and other information can help you understand the content and ownership of the images. It can be time-consuming to stop and transfer these notes to your scans.
In Digitizing Your Photos, I show how I approach the capture of nearby information. The fastest, simplest and most complete way to record these notes is to shoot photos of it, and include those photos in the catalog. In the case of prints, it’s simple to flip the print upside down and shoot the backside. Boxes and folders can also be photographed as you shoot the contents of these containers.
When coping slides, I suggest that you shoot the slides as a group after copying individual slides. Use front light to show any writing, and make sure the light rakes in from one side so that blind embossed writing shows up. This video from Chapter 2 shows the hardware setup I recommend to shoot the slide mounts.
The easiest way to build a copy setup for film (slides, transparencies and negatives) is to lay a lightbox on the copy stand and then put a negative carrier on top of that. This video from Digitizing Your Photos shows you how set one of these up (including how to make sure that the camera and the film are parallel to each other.)
I cover several other setups for copying film in the book, but this one requires no special tools and can be made wth stuff that is commonly available at camera shops.
This post kicks off a series of tips and techniques from Digitizing Your Photos. These posts will focus on a particular technique from the multimedia eBook, and include one of the videos from the book.
It’s common for vintage prints to exhibit Silver Mirroring (or Silvering). The reflections caused by residual silver can obscure the shadow detail in the print. Fortunately, it’s easy to remove the mirroring in the copy photo through the use of simple cross-polarization. This video shows how to cross-polarize and what the effect looks like.
This video appears on page 48 of Digitizing Your Photos with Your Camera and Lightroom.