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Fondo Real de Cholula digitization: Guide to

equipment and software


David Bliss, MA, MSIS
Digital Processing Archivist, LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections
The University of Texas at Austin
d.bliss@austin.utexas.edu

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Contents
1. The tripod.............................................................................................................................................. 3
2. The camera ........................................................................................................................................... 4
a) Camera features................................................................................................................................ 5
Automatic focus (AF)............................................................................................................................. 5
LCD Panel .............................................................................................................................................. 5
Control dials .......................................................................................................................................... 5
LCD Screen ............................................................................................................................................ 5
b) Key photography terms and concepts .............................................................................................. 5
Shutter .................................................................................................................................................. 5
ISO ......................................................................................................................................................... 6
Aperture ................................................................................................................................................ 6
Shutter speed ........................................................................................................................................ 6
Color temperature ................................................................................................................................ 6
White balance ....................................................................................................................................... 6
File formats ........................................................................................................................................... 6
c) Camera configuration ....................................................................................................................... 6
Buttons and dials .................................................................................................................................. 7
File Format Selection ............................................................................................................................ 8
Setting the ISO ...................................................................................................................................... 9
Setting the Aperture ............................................................................................................................. 9
Setting the Shutter Speed ..................................................................................................................... 9
3. Adobe Lightroom ................................................................................................................................ 10
a) Lightroom modules ......................................................................................................................... 10
b) Key photo editing terms to know ................................................................................................... 13
i. Cropping ...................................................................................................................................... 13
ii. Straightening ............................................................................................................................... 13
iii. White balance selection.............................................................................................................. 13
iv. Histogram .................................................................................................................................... 13
v. Lens correction............................................................................................................................ 13
Exportar o guardar .............................................................................................................................. 13
c) Crear nombres de archivo............................................................................................................... 14

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1. The tripod

Manfrotto MT055XPRO3

The tripod is used to mount the camera and keep it fixed in place during digitization. The tripod will
make digitizing the documents much faster.

This tripod has a deployable horizontal column to aim the camera downward, to photograph documents
on a table.

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2. The camera

Canon EOS 6D

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a) Camera features
Automatic focus (AF)
This makes the camera automatically focus on whatever object it thinks is most important, rather than
requiring the user to focus in on an object manually. Move the switch on the lens to “AF” to turn on
autofocus.

Auto-focus activated

LCD Panel
This is the small panel found on the top of the camera. It displays information about key photography
settings like aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.

Control dials
The camera has several control dials to adjust photography settings on the fly.

LCD Screen
This is the larger screen on the back of the camera, used to review photos and adjust camera settings.
Push the “MENU” button to access the camera menu on the LCD screen.

b) Key photography terms and concepts


Shutter
The shutter activates when the camera is told to take a photo, and is the source of the familiar “camera”
sound. The shutter opens and closes quickly, and exposes the sensor to light when it is open. The light
which is exposed to the shutter is captured as a photo.

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ISO
This refers to the sensitivity of the camera sensor to light. We will always use an ISO value of 200.

Aperture
The aperture is adjusted to change the precision of the camera’s focus. We will use an aperture of 11.

Shutter speed
This refers to the length of time the shutter stays open for each photo, and by extension the amount of
light that is allowed to reach the camera sensor for the photo. It is measured in fractions of a second. As
an example, a shutter speed of “15” will tell the camera to open the shutter for one fifteenth (1/15) of a
second each time a photo is taken.

Shutter speed should be set based on the amount of light that is found in the area, so we try to ensure
precise lighting conditions using our lamps in a room with as little ambient light as possible.

Color temperature
Though our eyes can’t always detect it, every light source shines in such a way that some colors are
emitted more than others. So that the colors of our photographs are as accurate as possible, it is
important to know the color temperature of a given light source and configure the camera to reflect it.
Our light bulbs emit light at a color temperature of 5500K, which is meant to approximate the color
temperature of daylight.

White balance
Because we know the color temperature of our light bulbs, we can adjust the white balance of our
photos to ensure they do not have any incorrect tint. The camera is configured to “expect” a color
temperature of 5500K, and we use the Color Separation Guide along with a tool in Lightroom to further
refine the color of the photos, by checking that a neutral grey or white color is truly “balanced”.

File formats
Some file formats, like JPEGs, compress images to make the files smaller, and therefore easier and faster
to share. Fine details may be lost during image compression, however. Although our cameras can
capture JPEG images, we will not use this format, because we want to capture images without any
compression whatsoever. We will capture “Raw” images which include 100% of the information
detected by the camera sensor. When we save these files on the computer, the files will have a “.CR2”
(Canon Raw 2) extension. For this project, Raw files will also be known as CR2s.

Once we capture images as .CR2s, we can edit the files and export them as TIFFs, which is another
uncompressed image format. We will keep the images both as .CR2s and as .TIFs

c) Camera configuration
Now that you understand the basic concepts and features of the camera, you are prepared to change
the camera settings. The camera has an array of buttons and dials, but in general it will only be
necessary to push and adjust a few of them.

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Buttons and dials
a) MENU button – This opens the menu on the LCD screen. When navigating within a submenu,
this button will return you to the menu one level above it.
b) Quick control dial – This is found to the right of the LCD screen. In addition to rotating like a
wheel, there are directional buttons inside the dial, and the “SET” button in the middle. The
directional buttons are used to navigate in the menu, and the SET button is used to select
options. When taking photos, rotating the dial adjusts the camera’s aperture setting.
c) Main dial – This is found on the top-right side of the camera, and is another spinning wheel. It’s
also used to navigate the camera menu. When taking photos, rotating this dial adjusts the
camera’s shutter speed setting.
d) Mode dial – This last dial is found on the top-left of the camera, and changes the camera’s
preset mode. We will always leave it set to “M” for manual control.

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Mode dial set to “Manual controls”

File Format Selection


When you hit the MENU button, the very first option should be “Calid. imagen”. The selected formato
de archivo will be displayed to the right. Hit the SET button to open the sub-menu, then adjust the dial
de modo and dial principal so that “RAW” is selected on top, and “—“ is selected on the bottom. This
way we are capturing Raw files and not JPEGs.

Camera correctly set to capture Raw images and not JPEG

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Setting the ISO
There are two ways of setting the ISO.

In the Menu: In the third menu screen, select “Ajustes de sensibilidad ISO”. Within this menu, set
“Sensibilidad ISO” to 200.

Using the buttons on the outside of the camera: Hit the “ISO” button on the top of the camera and
move either the Dial de control rápido or the Dial de modo to change the ISO. The number will change
on the panel LCD on top of the camera.

Setting the Aperture


Turn the Dial de control rápido to adjust the Apertura. The number on the right side (before the
parentheses) will change. We will use an aperture of 11.

Setting the Shutter Speed


Turn the main dial to adjust the Shutter Speed. The number on the bottom left will change. Turning the
dial to the right will set a faster shutter speed and create darker pictures, while turning it to the left will
set a slower shutter speed and create brighter pictures. We will begin with a shutter speed of 13,
adjusting it as needed.

a) ISO setting
b) Aperture setting
c) Shutter speed setting

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3. Adobe Lightroom
We will be using Lightroom to capture, name, edit, and export all our photos. Because Lightroom is
designed for professional photographers, it has many features and can seem confusing at first.
Thankfully, we will only use a few basic features. This section will explain how Lightroom works, how to
navigate it, and some basic photo editing terms.

a) Lightroom modules
The Lightroom interface is broken up into six “modules” which house different tools. You can see the
banes of the modules at the top right of the screen at all times. We will use the Library module to
capture and view our photos and the Develop module to edit them.

Library Module
The Library module is useful for reviewing and managing your photos

a) Folder selection – Shows which folder you are currently viewing


b) Photo viewer – Shows photos in the folder
c) Film roll – Shows photos in the folder
d) View selection – Switches between different views for the images in the folder. You can view
one, two, or many images at once

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Library Module

Develop Module
The Develop module is used for editing your images. We will use it to crop images and adjust the lighting
of the images.

a) Film roll – Select an image from here


b) Image viewer – This is where you will edit the selected image
c) Tool panel – This is where you will choose tools for editing

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Develop module

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b) Key photo editing terms to know
i. Cropping
Cutting out the edges of an image to eliminate unwanted or blank
space. We will crop most of the table from our photos.

ii. Straightening
Rotating the image so the documents are lined up straight. We can
use an automatic straightening tool to straighten our images.

iii. White balance selection


The white balance selector tool adjusts the color of the image, to
make it as precise as possible. We will use the selector in
conjunction with the Color Separation Guide.

iv. Histogram
A graph which shows the amount of each color in the image we
have selected. Having a good white balance and the correct color
temperature will ensure that the colors on the graph have the best
alignment.

v. Lens correction
Correcting any curves and imprecise colors introced by the lens of
the camera. The corrections will be based on the specific model of
lens.

Exportar o guardar
With most computer programs, you make changes to a file
and save that file. In Lightroom, we will be making edits and
adjustments to our “Raw” .cr2 images, but instead of saving
those changes directly to the .cr2 file, we will “export” new
.tif files with those changes applied to them.

This is important because it means that no matter what


changes we make to our Raw .cr2 files, we can always undo
them and have the original unedited “archival master”
available. Lightroom will keep track of the edits you apply to
these archival masters, but the edits are very easy to remove
if needed.

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c) Crear nombres de archivo
One of Lightroom’s key features is how it manages files for us. Instead of manually naming each photo
as we take it, we have configured Lightroom to apply the correct filenames automatically as the photos
are taken.

Setting up filenames is a one-time process, and we will have done it for you within Lightroom. However,
if you need to reinstall Lightroom or reconfigure it, you can follow the steps below to set up the
filenaming just like we have.

To set up the file naming scheme, select “File” > “Tethered capture” > “Start tethered capture…”

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To make a new template that matches our scheme, select “Template”, “Edit…”

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In the window that pops up, select and type the following in order:

1. “Insert,” next to “Session name” (This value will be the volumen or box number)
2. _ [underscore]
3. Sequence number (001) (We will not be using 1 or 01)

Click “Preset” and select “Save current settings as a new preset…” to save the template. Name it “Fondo
Real de Cholula” and click OK.

Using this template, we will be able to give the correct names to all our photos as we take them.

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