becomes difficult to get the entire subject in sharp focus.
In some cases, the copyboard of the camera is a bed with
a hinged glass cover. The original to be copied is placed
on the bed and the glass cover is closed When the cover
is closed, the bed squeezes the original against the glass
cover to flatten and hold it in place.
Reference lines are generally marked on the felt or
rubber surface of the copyboard to aid in centering and
aligning the cow. When the copyboard does not have
these lines, draw your own on the copyboard or on a
piece of paper and fasten it to the copyboard.
Some copyboards have a vacuum pump that
provides suction to hold the copy flat to the copyboard.
This eliminates the need for a glass cover. After the copy
is placed on the copyboard, the pump is turned on and
the vacuum holds the original in place.
When the copyboard does not have a vacuum pump
or glass cover, originals can be held in place with
pushpins. When it is not permissible to put holes in the
edges of the original, then double-sided tape may be an
alternative. When the copyboard is made of steel, the
original can be held in place with bar magnets.
When a camera is not equipped with a copyboard
and for occasional work, a copyboard can be made from
a sheet of softwood or cork. The surface should be
painted flat black, never white. A white, or even
light-colored copyboard, reflects too much light into the
camera lens, causing flare and troublesome reflections.
Flare causes a loss in contrast and extra compression of
the shadows. A black copyboard minimizes flare.
Always keep the glass of a copyboard clean. Dust it
with a clean camel-hair brush and clean it with a soft
cloth and glass cleaner. Never use dirty rags or razor
blades to clean the glass. They may scratch it. When you
have to scrape the glass, use your fingernail or an orange
Almost any type of light can be used for copy work,
provided the intensity of the light is enough to prevent
excessively long exposures. Another principle
requirement of the light source is to produce a light with
a color temperature suitable for the type of film being
Tungsten lamps 3200 K and 3400 K are suitable for
normal black-and-white copy work When a reflector
type of bulb is used, the need for external reflectors is
eliminated. A lens shade should be used with a reflector
type of bulb because the built-in reflector does not
extend the full length of the bulb, and stray light may
reach the lens and cause flare.
Lamps such as 3400 K are not as economical to use
as 3200 K lamps because of their short life (4 to 6 hours).
When fluorescent tubes are used to light an original,
they should be arranged to form a square-the sides of
which are parallel to the edges of the copyboard. The
size of the tubes and their distance from the copyboard
are governed by the size of the original to be copied.
Because this type of lighting setup is not easy to adjust,
it is best used when the size of the originals to be copied
does not vary much from one to another. Because of its
diffused nature, fluorescent lighting is suitable for
copying originals with a textured surface that must be
eliminated in the finished print. Regular fluorescent
lights should not be used when shooting color film
because it is difficult to color correct them accurately.
Special fluorescent lamps with a high color-rendering
index (CRI) should be used whenever possible. When
ordinary fluorescent lamps are used, consult the
Photo-Lab-Index to determine what filter should be
used as a starting point for the type of film you are using.
When used properly, electronic flash units are an
excellent light source for copy photography. An
electronic flash unit allows for extremely short
exposures that can be helpful for shipboard photolabs
when the ship is underway. The flash unit is balanced
for daylight color film and does not produce the heat
associated with tungsten or quartz bulbs.
Unless specifically designed for copy work and
attached to the copyboard, electronic flash lamps may
be difficult to position for proper illumination of the
original. The task can be made easier if you use studio
electronic flash units with built-in tungsten modeling
lights. With this type of lighting unit, the modeling light
can be used to position the lights accurately for even
illumination of the original. Even with this, the light may
have to be heavily diffused to prevent hot spots. A hot
spot is a surface area that receives too much light,
causing an unwanted reflection that is noticeable in the
final copy product.