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Author Topic: Which Digial Capture Technique for Antique Certificates with Gold Foil Seal  (Read 755 times)
chaddro
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« on: November 27, 2012, 02:32:07 PM »
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Hi All! Hope this is the right forum for this question!

I have a new potential project coming: Client has several large antique certificates (15"x21" or so) with gold foil seal.

Hoping someone can recommend the best way to capture these. I can either shoot with my Canon 5dmkii or scan with my Epson V700...

I think the real challenge will be the gold foil!! Hope you guys have some suggestions to cut my experimentation down.

Thanks!

-chadd
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tongelsing
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 05:48:46 AM »
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In the past I have made a lot of art reproductions with all kind of shiny metals embedded.
I recommend  the following:

Use a camera, a tripod and continguous lighting. You can also use studio flashes because they have modelling lights.
Remember; the right angle of lighting is crucial for shiny surfaces.
You have to look through your camera for finding the right angle. Experiment with different angles.
It is nice to use a softbox in combination with a spotlight. The softbox is for the general lighting and the spotlight for the enhancement of the shiny surface of the goldfoil. Only a softbox can give dull reflections.
Use a greycard or something similar.
If possible use thethered shooting.

Shiny metals are highlights and thus can be  much brighter then paperwhite.
So make different exposures and mix them together in PS.
Small parts of de goldfoil can be overexposed. This will enhance the impression of metal. But not to much.

Experiment!! That’s the fun part of it.

Ton

« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 07:03:00 AM by tongelsing » Logged
Ellis Vener
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 09:55:59 AM »
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Hi All! Hope this is the right forum for this question!

I have a new potential project coming: Client has several large antique certificates (15"x21" or so) with gold foil seal.

Hoping someone can recommend the best way to capture these. I can either shoot with my Canon 5dmkii or scan with my Epson V700...

I think the real challenge will be the gold foil!! Hope you guys have some suggestions to cut my experimentation down.

Thanks!

-chadd

From my experience, the best way to light it, if you photograph it, will be indirect (i.e. bounced) illumination: take a large white piece of Fomecore  and cut a hole just large enough for your lens to see through and point your lights at this bounce panel. Make sure the subject  is evenly illuminated (to within a tenth of a stop) from center to edges and corners.

Keep in mind that like all highly reflective surfaces the gold foil seal will reflect back the color of the light reflecting from it, so if you want to provide a little higher quality product to your client you might want to make two exposures: one with the white bounce panel and a second one with a gold bounce panel - you want to light the gold with gold light to make it look gold -   and then combine the two exposures as masked layers in Photoshop  using the gold lit one as the background layer and the neutrally lit one as the top layer. You'll make a mask in that top layer to let the gold of the seal come through by painting that area of the mask black. If the effect is too pronounced, paint the mask with a shade of gray instead.

Obviously everything - camera, subject and lighting positions -- should be locked down and make sure sure your camera's sensor plane is parallel with the subject's plane.

My second piece of advice is: try scanning first and see if the results are acceptable to you and your client. If they are you will save  a hell of a lot of time and effort.
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Ellis Vener
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Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
bill t.
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 01:39:49 PM »
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Shoot with a longish T/S lens shifted upward, so the camera sensor is still parallel with the bright surface but "below" it.  Now place a white or greyish card above the camera, so through the viewfinder you see the reflection of the card in the surface of the shiny subject.  With a paint can spray some nice, fuzzy, snake-like patterns on the card, to be seen well out of focus in the surface of the shiny object.  Think ripply reflections.  You need a wide f-stop to keep the card out of focus.  Looks really cool, keeps the shiny surface from being blank.   Used to do this with a 4x5 back in the day.

Without a tilt/shift lens you could just tape a card around the camera lens, try to find a position where the lens opening is not visible or at least not obvious as a reflection.  Or with the "above the camera" card setup, shoot at an angle then straighten it out in PS, a long lens would work best.
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