Copying and Duplicating:

Photographic and Digital Imaging Techniques, reviewed by Philip Greenspun; created 1998

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Copying and Duplicating by Eastman Kodak staff members, 1996 Silver Pixel Press. ISBN 0-87985-764-1. 144 pages. You can order this book from .

Copying photographs or flat artwork of any kind is a thankless and uncreative task. At the same time, it offers a rich field of opportunity for screwing up. If you do everything right, then the best that you can hope for is the copy doesn't look too much different from the original.

Lighting is the most critical element in successful copy work. The most important trick is placing polarizing screens over the lights and a polarizing filter over the lens ("cross polarization"). This gives the ultimate in reflection control and is important in keeping the texture of an original from dominating the copy. Copying and Duplicating contains a clear description of this technique as well as the more standard line drawings of artwork and lights at 45 degree angles to each other.

There are short sections on duping slides, making internegatives, making copy negatives, and printing slides from color negatives. They give starting filter settings and development times as appropriate.

There is a short section on digital image capture and manipulation in the back, but the heart and soul of the book is controlling contrast, density, and color balance with traditional materials. In fact, though the digital section wastes ink with a comparison of the Macintosh operating system, DOS, and Windows, it offers precious little guidance as to when it would be better to do everything digitally.

Copying and Duplicating is a must-buy if you are embarking on any copy project. However, I personally think that such projects are best left to technicians at photo labs who do it every day.

Note: a good illustrated source for copy stands, lights, etc. is the Calumet catalog (1-800-CALUMET).