I have used a similar set up in the past. I used it to capture the album
cover images on our website (www.audiopreservationfund.org). The camera I
used was a Canon 5D mark II digital camera mounted on a Kaiser copy stand.
The copy stand consists of a vertical post, baseboard, and two fluorescent
light boxes that could be adjusted to cast light at different angles. The
camera was connected to a computer via USB. The camera was also always
running on wall power instead of batteries. The computer was running XP in
the beginning and then upgraded to Windows 7. Canon has software that is
downloadable from their website that allows you to see what the camera is
"seeing" in real time on the computer monitor. You can then use the keyboard
or mouse to capture the image without touching the camera. The images are
then saved in a directory of your choosing. You can also choose the file
naming sequence you would like, as well as many other variables. I also used
a diffuser (I think it may have been plexiglass) to lay flat crumpled
sleeves and documents.
I was always pleased with this method. The image capture only took a split
second and if you line up the recordings assembly line style, you can get a
lot done very quickly. I could change the camera settings using the keyboard
to adjust brightness for each particular record and cover. I could also
adjust the lighting angle to reduce glare for each image. I plan on using
this method more in the future. I have a few grant applications pending to
replicate this setup for our organization. If you would like me to send you
our budget for the setup off-list, I would be happy to do so.
William R. Vanden Dries
Chair, Audio Preservation Fund
[log in to unmask]
On Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 3:52 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> Hi Randal:
> This might be a perfect use for a Nikon DSLR with Nikon's remote-control
> software. Canon and others may now have similar systems, but I am only
> familiar with the Nikon. Basically, the Nkon camera becauses a USB capture
> device and the software controls camera parameters and can pull the image
> directly to the hard drive, directly into Photoshop with recent versions.
> That said, I've never tried it your way, I've always had very good results
> with a large-format scanner, late model Epson to be exact. My latest twist
> is to scan black and white back covers directly into Acrobat in OCR mode so
> that the text becomes searchable and exportable. It's not perfect but the
> results are legions better than they would have been a few years ago. I
> can't see how using a photo stand would get better or quicker results than a
> large-mode scanner. For the number of albums you're doing, surely there's
> budget for one of them. By the time you get set up to do the photo stand
> thing efficiently, you'll end up spending nearly as much for camera-control
> software, lighting, diffusion glass, etc.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Randal Baier" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2011 4:44 PM
> Subject: [ARSCLIST] create quality album cover photos
> I'd like to ask my esteemed colleagues how to get quality album images
> a decent digital camera and a good copy stand.
> Our library archives is doing a digitization project involving the
> photographing of about 1200 albums, mostly 33 1/3 LPs, but some 78s. We're
> using a copy stand and plan to get a diffuser (or museum) glass so that the
> albums can be flat. We do have a light meter and a good digital camera, so
> really the preparation and proper workflow is what I'm interested in.
> We're hoping that image capture rather than scanning will get us better
> This is just a request for upfront advice so we can capture these images
> I'm pretty impressed with the images on the Birka Jazz Archive site, for
> instance. We need to capture images in high res formats for both web
> and projection.
> Randal Baier
> Eastern Michigan University