January 11, 2014 at 9:13 am #132197
Our museum has a very old photo album that is fragile. Photos are attached to the pages. We are wanting to digitize the photos, but flipping the fragile album upside down on a scanner will most likely damage it. I’ve tried using a camera, but many of the photos have some acid? damage that causes a severe reflection on parts of the photos.
We need high resolution so they can be enlarged for a photo exhibit. Can anyone recommend a method? I’ve seen wand scanners but not sure how well they work for enlarging photos.
January 11, 2014 at 11:06 am #132212Patricia KellerMember
Do you have access to a camera with high megapixel imaging, and a copystand (or a volunteer who would rig you up a copystand, or an institution to borrow one from, or an institution like a local university or college where you could use one in their media lab? You could support the photo album in a cradle or other supportive and appropriate means, open it to each page, one at a time, hold the page in place with lightweight and carefully chosen small weights (protectively wrapped to not damage the paper) and record each photograph in the album digitally that way, as well as the entire page with photos in situ.
Curator and Collections Management Consultant
Berrett Conservation Studio
January 12, 2014 at 12:56 pm #132211
I did try using a good camera. the only problem is with the shiny spots on the photos. Parts of the photos that made contact with the facing page are shiny (acid? damage) and no matter where I positioned the light source there was a reflection from these shiny spots.
January 12, 2014 at 1:11 pm #132210Patricia KellerMember
I see. Hmmm. Have you worked with bounced diffused light and a camera? For example, if you have a large sheet of white Foamcore direct the lighting on that, aiming to “bounce” the reflected and somewhat diffused “bounced” light on the photograph you wish to image. This may require a clamp and a stand, or a partner to hold the white reflective board (I’ve even used white Styrofoam packing material or insulating board) in the right position.
January 12, 2014 at 8:59 pm #132209Manon MonchampMember
Hi. Photographers have a simple trick for photographing reflective objects. Set up a black screen with a small hole to poke the camera lens through in front of the object. Position the lights at a 45 degree angle to the right and the left of the object so they are not reflected, and the item is evenly lit with no glare spots. This way all that is reflected is a black void. Black cotton velvet works great, but black foam-core would also work.
If you need to diffuse the light for a household, incandescent bulb, I’ve found a piece of parchment paper (the type used for baking) held in place with WOODEN clothes pin (won’t melt like plastic) clipped to the front of the lamp is a cheap, low-tech system. The parchment paper should not touch the bulb, of course! If using fluorescent bulbs or LEDs there is little heat so you can use plain old paper or sheer cloth as a diffuser. Hope this helps.
January 13, 2014 at 9:40 am #132208Katherine CollettParticipant
Another solution would be to get a FlipPal scanner (http://flip-pal.com), as long as the individual photographs are no larger than 4″x6″. Because you can turn the scanner upside down and use it directly on the photos, it shouldn’t damage the album. I haven’t had a problem with reflection on anything I’ve scanned so far. The maximum resolution is 600 dpi, if that’s high enough. I would probably also use a camera to take reference photographs of the whole pages as well, as suggested.
January 13, 2014 at 10:24 am #132207Susan PanakMember
I have used the FlipPal scanner to scan oversized quilt blocks — it stitched together the photos nicely. I have not enlarged the photos. But FlipPal has been a welcome addition to my archival tools.
January 13, 2014 at 3:55 pm #132206Kaia LandonParticipant
You’ve gotten a number of good suggestions, but I’ve got one more. Someone – I want to say a branch of the Smithsonian – took apart a scanner so as to situate things so the scanner could sit above the item to be scanned (they also rigged a system to raise and lower the object ).
Does anyone remember seeing this? It was on a video online. I thought it was a C2C webinar, but looking at the archives I can’t find it, and I’m apparently not googling the right thing.
If you encounter this situation often, this might be worth the time to rig.
January 16, 2014 at 12:21 am #132205StevenMember
You may also want to check out this option. You wouldn’t have to flip the photo albulms over. Just lay it under the scanner and hit a button. It can scan color at 600 dpi. We are looking at using this to scan some fragile material we have in our archives. I’ve tested it out a little and the scans are very good quality.
January 16, 2014 at 12:06 pm #132204Mary DanielsenParticipant
I would definitely try using a Flip-Pal scanner. The company’s website has a number of fantastic how-to videos showing you how to scan photos in albums and frames. It’s also a great addition to your tool kit. I just completed a similar project where the images were elevated. The scanner has a 1/4″ depth of field. I took the lid off and flipped it to scan. I used two black microfiber cleaning cloths to block out light on either side of the scanner (just in case). Did the trick.
January 17, 2014 at 9:47 am #132203
January 21, 2014 at 10:28 am #132202
January 21, 2014 at 12:22 pm #132201
January 22, 2014 at 8:20 am #132200
This looks similar….but probably not it either.
I tried flipping my Canon scanner upside down to scan and it made horrible noises. Evidently not all of them can be flipped!
January 27, 2014 at 4:46 am #132199
Agree with the use of DSLR but some knowledge on photometry and colorimetry is needed. Fujitsu Scan and DIY large format DIY scanner need some color management too. The comment of Russell is true, not all can be flipped.
The necessary trend of digitizing gives some headache to the staff involved if they are not photographers. Better to attend some seminars on photography and reproducing art.
January 27, 2014 at 10:46 am #132198Abigail KabakerMember
If you know anyone who is tech savvy this website is fantastic. http://www.diybookscanner.org/
Most of the users tend to be individuals rather than museums or institutions, but it seems that many of the scanners that have been built and discussed in the forums can be modified for museum/ archival quality standards.
They also sell a kit to build one, but it does not come with the actual scanner mechanism or software.
- The forum ‘C2C Community Archives – 2012 through 2014’ is closed to new topics and replies.