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I want to copy historic documents to digitally insert them into my presentations. Do you have any tips for copying documents with my Olympus Stylus or FE cameras?
As we exchange and share information in electronic documents, audio/visual presentations and through the Internet, there is a greater need to photographically digitize documents and old photographic prints. This is a field of photography known as copy photography. Copy photography can be done very well with basic resources if you follow a few basic tips.
Your camera has a set of SCENE modes that apply preset settings for specific scenarios. In Olympus digital cameras there is a DOCUMENTS SCENE mode that increases the contrast between letters and background. This can make yellowed or faded documents easier to read when they are digitized. The mode also adjusts the exposure so the paper background copies lighter than the exposure the camera would make in the AUTO or Program shooting modes.
Do not use the flash when copying documents, as that will wash them out. Set the flash to the setting in which the flash will not fire. If you don’t have copy lights and a copy stand to hold the camera, the best source of light is sunlight—it is the right color temperature and it is bright enough to get fast shutter speeds needed to obtain a sharp, readable image. At some time of the day you may have pools of light on your floors. Place a piece of black or gray poster board on the floor to lay the documents on when you copy them. When you shoot, it is important to keep the images square. If the camera has a DISP (Display) button, press it until you get a grid on the LCD screen to assist you in squaring up the image. If the square edges of the document appear to have a slight curvature, zoom the lens out a little bit to square the edges.
Once they are copied the copy photographs can be downloaded to software where they can have additional cleanup of the document with post-processing and then be inserted in the project digitally.
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