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Photographing tablets

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  • larryjhs01
    Hello there Can anyone point me to a written guide for taking good 2D photos of cuneiform tablets (lighting, angle etc) to give to a museum photographer? Larry
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 12, 2013
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      Hello there

      Can anyone point me to a written guide for taking good 2D photos of cuneiform tablets (lighting, angle etc) to give to a museum photographer?

      Larry Stillman
      Monash University
    • dafoxvog
      Information on successful scanning of tablets can be found at UCLA s CDLI site: http://cdli.ox.ac.uk/wiki/doku.php?id=submission_guidelines Some of this might
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 13, 2013
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        Information on successful scanning of tablets can be found at UCLA's CDLI site:

        http://cdli.ox.ac.uk/wiki/doku.php?id=submission_guidelines

        Some of this might be of possible help also in photographing tablets.


        D. Foxvog
        UC Berkeley (ret.)




        --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "larryjhs01" <larryjhs@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello there
        >
        > Can anyone point me to a written guide for taking good 2D photos of cuneiform tablets (lighting, angle etc) to give to a museum photographer?
        >
        > Larry Stillman
        > Monash University
        >
      • Robert M Whiting
        ... I don t know about a written guide, but I can give some pointers about lighting from my experience with reading and photographing tablets. Use a single
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 16, 2013
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          On Mon, 12 Aug 2013, larryjhs01 wrote:

          > Hello there
          >
          > Can anyone point me to a written guide for taking good 2D photos of
          > cuneiform tablets (lighting, angle etc) to give to a museum
          > photographer?

          I don't know about a written guide, but I can give some pointers about
          lighting from my experience with reading and photographing tablets.

          Use a single light source (incadescent, not flourescent) and place it so
          that it illuminates the tablet from the upper left corner at about a 45
          degree angle. The light should also rake the tablet from about a 45
          degree angle above the surface. This will cause the shadows to highlight
          the wedges and make the text readable. Do not illuminate the tablet
          directly from the top or from the right or from the bottom, as this will
          eliminate the shadows of the wedges and give the writing a washed-out
          appearance without the surface contrast that allows the wedges to stand
          out.

          Here is a photograph of a brick inscription that was correctly lighted
          (apparently by accident because of the angle from which it was
          photographed). Note how each wedge stands out from the surface because of
          the shadows:

          http://www.superstock.com/preview.asp?image=1566-1043831&imagex=22&id=18861856&productType=3&pageStart=0&pageEnd=100&pixperpage=100&hitCount=34&filterForCat=&filterForFotog=

          Compare that with with this photo of a tablet that was incorrectly and is
          almost illegible.

          http://www.superstock.com/preview.asp?image=1788-22315&imagex=21&id=16307635&productType=3&pageStart=0&pageEnd=100&pixperpage=100&hitCount=34&filterForCat=&filterForFotog=

          Here is another example of a correctly illuminated cuneiform inscription
          (from the top and the left at a raking angle). Note how each wedge,
          horizonal, vertical, and diagonal, stands out from the surface.

          http://fredhatt.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/akkadian-cuneiform.jpg

          And another:

          http://inspirehep.net/record/784075/files/plimpton-322-red.png

          Of course, if you don't care whether the script is legible or not, it
          doesn't matter how you light it.

          Bob Whiting
          whiting@...
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