pokemanyz 8:43pm, 1 January 2013
Sounds crazy I know. My great grandfather was a famous photographer and there are no originals negatives or glass plates to be found.

We do have on loan from a library a collection of Fort Dearborn Magazine's from the mid 1920's of which within are around 36 pictures that he took..We've been attempting to photograph these with limited success so I came here looking for ideas.

Here is an example using natural light –
It’s not too bad but you can see it’s lighter on the edge. Maybe this is something that can be fixed in Photoshop?
So far all attempts with flash are worse than this. I ‘ve tried with a shoot through umbrella and also with a Lumiquest mini softbox.
4x5 dan 5 years ago
Two lights one on each side at a 45 degree angle. Stick your finger in the middle of the print when the shadow is the same on both sides the light is balanced. or you could use a flash meter
Karlen. 5 years ago
JayFarm 5 years ago
Can you just use a scanner? Home units are reasonably prices, and if you go to a decent place they often have scanners that you can use books with without damaging the bindings.
alohadave 5 years ago
Standard copy lighting is where you start with this. Like 4x5 dan said, 2 lights at 45 degrees to either side.

The complication comes from the gutter and how the magazine tends to curl. If it's staple bound, it's not as much of a problem, compared to a glued binding. I'd imagine that the library would not appreciate deforming the magazines to get it flatter, especially when they are that old.
Arjen P van de Merwe 5 years ago
All depends on the type of paper: if it is matt, then it is easy, all you need to do is get the light evenly distributed.
Natural light: the colour changes with the time of day, and the weather, but if your pix are b/w that is of no consequence. With natural light, having a large window straight behind the camera, making sure there is no shadow of the camera or photographer. (this usually means you want to put your magazine upright. Using a long lens helps avoiding a shadow by putting distance between the camera and the magazine.
With glossy paper you have to avoid reflections of your light: then two lights at 45 degrees works well. If you put them at a distance from the magazine the lighting will be more even. I once made repros of paintings and put the lights at like 6 meters left and right 45 degrees of the paintings. That worked well.
Getting the photos flat may be a problem with magazines.
LumoPro 5 years ago
I would agree with the above, scanner, or for higher resolution photographing digitally with evenly distributed lighting on both sides of the image. Try googling copymate or some copy stand, designed to take photos of photos or documents.

Couldn't help but notice the title of the thread, "light a picture of a picture"....

Following up on what said, I recently photographed a painting for an artist friend and the 2 light 45 degrees worked nicely. If you are getting flares or hot spots try using some diffusion to soften the light. My best results were at f22.

Good luck - wonderful project.
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