Photographing Documents

Discussion in 'Photo Assignments & Technical Challenges' started by Payne, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Payne

    Payne TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    I am looking for tips on how to photograph documents and get crisp, clear images with a very simple digital camera.
     
  2. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,272
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Rural America
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Make sure they're not behind glass if you can help it. If they are, move around to find where the least amount of glare/reflection will be. Before you shoot, look at what's in the reflection. Darker is better. Avoid windows and lights in the reflection.

    Try not to use flash if you're going to be close to it. Other types of background light won't leave as much crud.

    Photograph at a slight angle, not straight on. Take it from different angles. Too much of an angle will blurr portions of the document.

    Use a tripod, or otherwise balance the camera to avoid hand-shake.
     
  3. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,261
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Key West FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    "very simple" digital cameras are not well suited to the task. The results won't be as good as if a more elaborate camera with a true macro lens can deliver.

    For the best results, you need to shoot straight into the document, not at an angle. You also need to not use flash. With simple cameras this means you need very bright light. Shooting outdoors on an overcast day is a good choice.

    If your camera has a zoom it is usually best to zoom to a modest telephoto position. Simple zoom lenses generally produce a bit of barrel distortion (straight lines tend to bow outward from the center) and this distortion is usually at its least toward the tele end of the zoom range.
     
  4. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,272
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Rural America
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    :lmao: :lol:

    I've never had luck shooting straight on with paper, even in good light.
     
  5. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,604
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Location:
    Cedar Hill, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Umm...why?

    The plane of focus is flat, the paper is flat. What is there to go wrong?
     
  6. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,272
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Rural America
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Umm, they always look better at a slight angle. Never tried to figure out why. I shoot an a slight angle and they come out good, so that's how I do it. Maybe it's just aesthetics. Dunno. :shrug:
     
  7. JimKing

    JimKing TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salisbury MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I tend to agree with most of what "Dwig" had to say. However, if your camera has a macro mode that will allow your camera to focus close and avoid blurry shots from holding your camera closer than it can focus use that. Lighting can be a problem I would recommend outdoors in the shade and not using a flash. If you have a tripod use it. You may have to put your document on a board or cardboard propped so that the camera is pointing straight at it. Use the self timer to avoid moving the camera when you press the button.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
best camera for photographing documents
,
best digital camera for photographing documents
,
cameras for photographing documents
,
how to photograph documents
,
how to photograph documents with a digital camera
,
photograph documents
,

photographing documents

,
photographing documents digital camera
,

photographing documents with a digital camera

,
taking pictures of documents with digital camera