Scanning Samples

It’s interesting how edited final photographs can give accurate representations of what they are trying to reproduce while still not properly imparting the scale of the object. For instance, one of the more recent projects I’ve worked on in Digital Imaging with Amy McCrory is a small Latin prayer book. One of the final images to be used by researchers looks like this:

prayerbook15thcentury

However the setup for photographing the book actually looked like this:

prayerbookphotosetup

My hands look almost monstrous by comparison. The book was small enough to easily fit in the palm of a hand and we ended up dying a couple of cotton swabs with long sticks black to hold down the corners of the book. To prevent any ink from being transferred to the manuscript, I shaved down the bottom of the swabs so that it was bare wood. This also flatted them out and made it easier to hold the tiny pages down. The swabs ended up being smaller than micro-spatulas and also didn’t scatter as much light as the lighting setup was using a downward facing specular light so that the gold illumination in the book would be highlighted.