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Carrying out image capture

The sections below briefly outline the practices involved in capturing images on both a flatbed scanner and on the specialist mounted camera used by FARNE.

1. Flatbed scanning

Epson Flatbed Scanner
Epson Flatbed Scanner

Scanning an image using a flatbed scanner can be relatively straight forward. - The item is placed onto the glass plate of the scanner and previewed using the scanner software. (For the purposes of the FARNE project, an Epson GT-10000+ A3 flatbed scanner was used with accompanying Epson Twain Pro software.) Once an item has been previewed, various aspects of the image can be altered to ensure the highest picture quality. Basic settings include:

  • image type (usually standard 24-bit colour)

  • resolution (the quality at which the picture is scanned – 600 dpi for FARNE images)

  • The scale of the image (This allows users to control the file size of an image, i.e. how much space the item will use on a CD or PC)

    Other advanced settings include exposure, gamma, tone and colour which can all be altered prior to scanning. It is important to make use of these settings. Although adjustments can be made to all of these settings during the editing process, there is no substitute for a high quality scan. If a picture is under-exposed etc. it will never look entirely correct, no matter how many adjustments are made during editing. It is also vital to note the importance of calibrating equipment prior to scanning. PCS, scanner and printers should all be calibrated with suitable profiles to ensure consistent colour for digital and printed images.

    When you are happy that you have made all the relevant adjustments to the image, use the cropping tool to select the area you want to capture. Be sure to allow enough room at the edges of the image for any changes you may want to make during the editing process, such as cropping or rotating.
    One advantage of using a flatbed scanner is that groups of items can be scanned using a batch process. In this way multiple scans can be made at once, without having to preview, crop and capture each item individually. Use the marquee tool to select multiple images and then click ‘All’ to start the batch process.

    2. Scanning using a mounted digital scanner

    The mounted camera used by FARNE was purpose built for the capture of over-sized or fragile images. It is unlikely that this type of equipment will be used on a large scale by individuals/institutions working in image capture, simply due to its size and cost. Nevertheless a brief outline of the processes involved is still worth while.

    There are two main elements to this equipment:

  • A Bronica camera (fig. A). This is an extremely powerful 80mm camera. Like any normal camera, adjustments can be made to the focus, apterture, shutter speed etc. prior to image capture.

  • A digital camera back (fig. B). The Bronica camera has been adjusted to incorporate a digital scanner back. This scanner works in a similar way to a flatbed scanner, sending images via a connection to accompanying PC software. The scanner uses the powerful camera lens, and other features to capture extremely high quality images.

    Fig. A Fig. B
    Bronica Camera adapted to incorporate a digital scanner back.

    Once the camera settings have been adjusted to suit, the image is previewed in much the same way as with a flatbed scanner. In this case, using Phase One software. This is similar to the software which accompanies most flatbed scanners, but allows a greater degree of control for image capture. Shutter-speed, aperture and exposure can all be altered using this software. It is often preferable to make small changes to these settings using the software, rather than altering the settings on the camera itself for each new shot. Once you are happy with the image, simply use the cropping tool, as with flatbed software, and select the area you want.



    Selecting a method of image capture
    Selecting a method of image capture
    Issues surrounding appropriate image capture for archival items

    Carrying out image capture
    Carrying out image capture
    Methods of image capture.

    Editing digital images
    Editing digital images
    Processes and practices involved in digital editing.

    Image standards and formats
    Image standards and formats
    Creating master copies and web delivery files.

    Gateshead Central Library
    Prince Consort Road, Gateshead, NE8 4LN
    Tel: 0191 433 8430