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Re: Photographing tablets

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  • 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 1 of 3 , Aug 13 4:31 AM
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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 2 of 3 , Aug 16 3:31 AM
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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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