Scale and background options to photograph your finds

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Oxgirl36
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Scale and background options to photograph your finds

Post by Oxgirl36 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:14 am

When I started in this hobby I didn’t used to give a monkeys about how I photographed my finds as long as the photo was ok and could get me an ID.

Now I am a little fussier and so was delighted (about 18 months ago) when my photographs massively improved by the simple addition of a scale background designed for photographing archeological finds. Using exactly the same camera (my ipad) the lens now picks up the detail of the item much, much more crisply.

So which ones to get?

My first, and still my favourite, is this one from Past Horizons at £2.22 plus free postage.
It’s credit card sized so I carry it around in my finds box just in case it’s ever needed in the field. It’s made of a matt plastic so is fully wipeable and very durable. But the best bit is that it disperses the light onto the find, eliminating shadows, beautifully. For 95% plus of my finds it is perfect. And I love the plain white background which is superb if you are a self recorder for PAS.
However there are two downsides. Firstly the scale is only a horizontal one (nothing on the vertical) and, secondly, if I want to do a group shot or photograph something bigger then it’s compact size lets it down.

So, for my bigger finds, I bought a larger one. This one is from Amazon and costs £12.50 plus £3 postage. It is about A5 in size (half a standard piece of photocopy paper) and made of plastic coated aluminium. It is much heavier and feels very nicely made. There is a very slight sheen to it’s surface which is ok for photographing finds, just not as good as the plastic Past Horizon’s one. The coloured lines are fine, although I prefer a plain background even if it is impractical for allowing the observer to easily see the measurements x; .

I’ll do a comparison test later so you can see how the three options - scaled paper and these two scales fare in a real life photographic situation ::g

(For completeness here is the link to the (excel) printable scale you can print yourself viewtopic.php?f=42&t=98581)


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Re: Scale and background options to photograph your finds

Post by sweepstick47 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:05 am

I do like both those options but my personal 'go to' choice, is still Dave8472's two coloured offering printed out on light card which is easily handled by a basic printer. Here
Being a careful Yorkshireman, I'm also attracted by the fact that it's provided at zero cost 8-|.

Due to their excellent durability. the plastic credit card scale would seem to be an excellent choice for those who want to add a scale to their 'clod-shots' or 'eyes only' finds while on-site, so as my birthday looms, I may look at one of those credit card type scales B-) just for back-up you understand :D Regards ss47
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Re: Scale and background options to photograph your finds

Post by Buriedbytime&dust » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:13 am

I use the one below, from the same site as your first link ::g

https://www.pasthorizonstools.com/L_sha ... hape30.htm

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Re: Scale and background options to photograph your finds

Post by Pete E » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:25 am

I've down loaded a couple of scales from links mentioned on previous threads on here, but I want to take them to be laminated with some non glare plastic...
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Re: Scale and background options to photograph your finds

Post by lonecoiler » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:40 am

I use a self healing cutting mat from the hobby section of the Range. Under £3.00 metric one side imperial the other. :;@
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Re: Scale and background options to photograph your finds

Post by Bargeman » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:48 am

Thanks OG...

Mind you I find it easier not to find anything good that needs recording or identifying x;



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Re: Scale and background options to photograph your finds

Post by dep1699 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:18 pm

I am using the one found on PAS guide.
So I shot the pictures using a cheap photo stage, then I measure the object. With PowerPoint I load the scale image, the object images and I resize the object according to the measurement taken. And this is how the result looks like.
romanbrooch.jpg
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Re: Scale and background options to photograph your finds

Post by Dangerous Norman » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:27 pm

I created an image in photoshop approx 3650 px square. I created a group of layers with the vertical & horizontal grids etc. so I can turn on and off various parts of the grid.

The central area of the grid is approx 3300px square which is approx the size of the photos of my finds (coins etc) after cropping the close up photos which is inserted on its own layer.

This allows me to print with or without some/all of the scale & change the background colour, texture of even add an image.

OK this may sound a bit of a faff but once I set up the photoshop grids (plural as I have 1x1cm, 2x2cm etc. plus some landscape formats) it's quick and easy to add a find photo to the correct size grid.
08 Square 8cm x 8cm.jpg
I am thinking of adding some grid lines (at 0.5cm spacing) across the 'display area' where the find image is displayed which I feel will be a benefit on some photos. Again these will be on their own layer and could be turned off if not needed.

If anyone with photoshop wants a copy of these scale files I will make them available to download.
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Re: Scale and background options to photograph your finds

Post by Dangerous Norman » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:39 pm

Here is a sample of modified grid 1x1cm square.
01 Square 1cm x 1cm.jpg
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Re: Scale and background options to photograph your finds

Post by Oxgirl36 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:06 pm

ok can you see any difference? There are 4 examples. In photo one (from top left, going clockwise) we have the free guide on shiny paper from the PAS guide, a plain sheet of white photocopy paper, the credit card sized Past Horizon one and, finally, the amazon larger scale one.

Not much difference really ::g
C8003EDB-F934-411B-A6FE-02D8DA517ED6.jpeg
3232539F-4BFD-418D-AA43-0D4D400B21B2.jpeg
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Re: Scale and background options to photograph your finds

Post by Dangerous Norman » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:20 pm

Oxgirl36 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:06 pm
ok can you see any difference? There are 4 examples. In photo one (from top left, going clockwise) we have the free guide on shiny paper from the PAS guide, a plain sheet of white photocopy paper, the credit card sized Past Horizon one and, finally, the amazon larger scale one.

Not much difference really ::g

Some differences, Personally I prefer the PAS guide & the Past Horizon ones based on those examples. I use my photoshop grids because it suits my needs. I also have a camera which requires 16-20 photos stitched to make one to get a full shot of a 15mm dia coin if I want/need really close up detail.

Thanks for the comparrison photos.

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Re: Scale and background options to photograph your finds

Post by Bors » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:52 pm

Bargeman wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:48 am
Thanks OG...

Mind you I find it easier not to find anything good that needs recording or identifying x;



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Good answer . ::g =))

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Re: Scale and background options to photograph your finds

Post by Koala » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:12 pm

Having a scale is important but so is being able to see definition. Its no good posting a black fussy disk of a coin for example

some items just don't photograph well against a white background and under exposes leaving a very dark image. You can either manually over expose


But is easier to photo against brown cardboard.


very shiny object can confuse the auto focus. Adding a bit of contrast to the back can help a point and shoot camera to focus. I keep an old sea worn brick for taking close ups on

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