Photo Negatives

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(New page: Photo negatives represent one of the only times we present something online in an altered state from how they appear in the archives: we invert them so that they look more like regular pho...)
 
(added information about scanner capture and edited/moved/deleted some previous information)
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==Overview==
 
==Overview==
# Negatives are captured using a lightbox mounted on a regular overhead capture station
+
Negatives can be captured two ways
# They are optimized by normal procedure in Camera Raw, then they are made positive in Photoshop
+
# Using a flatbed scanner with a transparency unit (preferred)
 +
# Using a lightbox mounted on a regular overhead capture station
 +
Negatives are optimized by normal procedure in Camera Raw
 +
* If done with the camera/lightbox, you will have to make the TIFFs positive in Photoshop
 +
Negatives may be very fragile
 +
* Especially for glass negatives -- if you think you'll damage a glass negative by capturing it, don't
  
==Capturing Negatives==
+
 
 +
==Method 1: Flatbed Scanner with Backlight==
 +
===Prep===
 +
* Find the flatbed that has the thicker lid, the one with backlight built in, or change out a regular lid for a backlight lid
 +
* Connect the lid to the base of the scanner with the serial cable
 +
* Remove the white reflective plate that usually covers the inside of the lid
 +
* Make sure screw on the inside of the lid is turned to the unlock position
 +
* Make sure scanner is plugged in and connected by USB to the computer
 +
* Turn the scanner on
 +
===Capture===
 +
* Open EpsonScan
 +
* Use normal capture procedures, except change these settings
 +
** Document Type: Film
 +
** Film Type: B&W Negative
 +
** Uncheck box for 'Thumbnail' at bottom of panel
 +
* If it balks at trying to do a preview, change settings back to Reflective and do a preview like that; after doing a regular preview, it should work on the settings for negatives
 +
===Optimizing===
 +
* Use Camera Raw to optimize as normal, but note:
 +
** The image should be in positive form now; if it is not, follow the directions for inverting it found in the section below
 +
** The image will already be in TIFF form, so make sure you export it to a different folder than the one it's currently in.
 +
** It's not really possible to white balance the image.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
==Method Two: Camera Plus Lightbox==
 
===Prep===
 
===Prep===
 
* Put the lightbox on one of the capture stations that can accommodate it, size wise (currently, the Canon EOS 5D in 214 and the Canon EOS 7D in 216), and plug it in
 
* Put the lightbox on one of the capture stations that can accommodate it, size wise (currently, the Canon EOS 5D in 214 and the Canon EOS 7D in 216), and plug it in
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* Gather several pieces of black paper to use for masking
 
* Gather several pieces of black paper to use for masking
 
===Capture===
 
===Capture===
* DO NOT take the negative out of the plastic sleeve UNLESS (1) the sleeve isn't transparent (you can't shoot through it) AND (2) you're sure it is not too fragile (it won't flake or break)
 
 
* Place the negative on the lightbox and place black paper around the edges of the negative to mask it
 
* Place the negative on the lightbox and place black paper around the edges of the negative to mask it
 
* Capture as normal
 
* Capture as normal
* See the note below on white balance
+
===Optimizing===
 
+
==Optimizing Negatives==
+
===Camera Raw===
+
 
* Optimize as normal in Bridge's Camera Raw interface (rotate, align, crop, white balance)
 
* Optimize as normal in Bridge's Camera Raw interface (rotate, align, crop, white balance)
* Export as a TIFF file, as usual
+
** Note on White Balance
===Adobe Photoshop===
+
*** If at least one image of the batch you're doing shows through some of the lightbox (for example, because it's missing a corner or has a hole in it, use that exposed area to white balance that image, then copy that white balance over to the rest of the images in the set
* Open Photoshop
+
*** If no images show any background, you'll need to take an additional image specifically for white balance purposes -- just pull back the masking paper to expose some of the background and use that for white balancing the set
* Within Photoshop, open a TIFF file
+
* Export as a TIFF file, as usual -- it will still be in negative form
* To invert the image, choose Image --> Adjustments --> Invert (this should be hotkey Ctrl + I)
+
* Open TIFF file in Photoshop
* To enhance the color, choose Image --> Auto Color
+
** Invert the image: choose Image --> Adjustments --> Invert
* Other enhancements that might work just as well or better
+
** Save the image
** Image --> Auto Tone
+
** Image --> Auto Contrast
+
* Save the image
+
 
+
==Note on White Balance==
+
* The first batch of negatives we did on the lightbox had a corner cut out on every negative, and we were able to use that exposed area of the lightbox surface to get white balance for each item; this is what you should do if possible
+
* If at least one image of the batch you're doing shows through some of the lightbox, use that exposed area to white balance that image, then copy that white balance over to the rest of the images in the set
+
* If no images show any background, you'll need to take an additional image specifically for white balance purposes -- just pull back the masking paper to expose some of the background and use that for white balancing the set
+

Revision as of 11:10, 15 June 2015

Photo negatives represent one of the only times we present something online in an altered state from how they appear in the archives: we invert them so that they look more like regular photographs.

Contents

Overview

Negatives can be captured two ways

  1. Using a flatbed scanner with a transparency unit (preferred)
  2. Using a lightbox mounted on a regular overhead capture station

Negatives are optimized by normal procedure in Camera Raw

  • If done with the camera/lightbox, you will have to make the TIFFs positive in Photoshop

Negatives may be very fragile

  • Especially for glass negatives -- if you think you'll damage a glass negative by capturing it, don't


Method 1: Flatbed Scanner with Backlight

Prep

  • Find the flatbed that has the thicker lid, the one with backlight built in, or change out a regular lid for a backlight lid
  • Connect the lid to the base of the scanner with the serial cable
  • Remove the white reflective plate that usually covers the inside of the lid
  • Make sure screw on the inside of the lid is turned to the unlock position
  • Make sure scanner is plugged in and connected by USB to the computer
  • Turn the scanner on

Capture

  • Open EpsonScan
  • Use normal capture procedures, except change these settings
    • Document Type: Film
    • Film Type: B&W Negative
    • Uncheck box for 'Thumbnail' at bottom of panel
  • If it balks at trying to do a preview, change settings back to Reflective and do a preview like that; after doing a regular preview, it should work on the settings for negatives

Optimizing

  • Use Camera Raw to optimize as normal, but note:
    • The image should be in positive form now; if it is not, follow the directions for inverting it found in the section below
    • The image will already be in TIFF form, so make sure you export it to a different folder than the one it's currently in.
    • It's not really possible to white balance the image.


Method Two: Camera Plus Lightbox

Prep

  • Put the lightbox on one of the capture stations that can accommodate it, size wise (currently, the Canon EOS 5D in 214 and the Canon EOS 7D in 216), and plug it in
  • Turn the lightbox on
    • Follow the instructions on the front near the switches
    • Note: like the regular lights, these require a bit of warm-up time
  • Turn off the overhead lights and the regular capture lights.
  • Gather several pieces of black paper to use for masking

Capture

  • Place the negative on the lightbox and place black paper around the edges of the negative to mask it
  • Capture as normal

Optimizing

  • Optimize as normal in Bridge's Camera Raw interface (rotate, align, crop, white balance)
    • Note on White Balance
      • If at least one image of the batch you're doing shows through some of the lightbox (for example, because it's missing a corner or has a hole in it, use that exposed area to white balance that image, then copy that white balance over to the rest of the images in the set
      • If no images show any background, you'll need to take an additional image specifically for white balance purposes -- just pull back the masking paper to expose some of the background and use that for white balancing the set
  • Export as a TIFF file, as usual -- it will still be in negative form
  • Open TIFF file in Photoshop
    • Invert the image: choose Image --> Adjustments --> Invert
    • Save the image
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