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  1. #1
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    Photography of scratched laptop screens

    Hi All,

    I'm a Computer Technician at a high school and would like to get photographic evidence of damage to laptops by student to record in a known damage logbook. More importantly, I'm hoping to get some advice on how best to photograph a laptop screen to make the scratches stand out.

    One of the major issues has been trying to get a clear picture of a satin black (Not reflective) LCD screen on a laptop that it switched off. I get light reflections on the screen that block out the detail and blur the image. I've tried all manner of things to try to prevent the reflections, without success.

    I've even tried setting up in a dark room, with a totally white LCD display at various brightness level, ISO settings, etc. A fraction better, but still does not make the scratches stand out. The scratches can be anything from light scratches to gouges.

    Ultimately I'd like to be able to print them on A4 as visible damage record in a logbook.

    I have a Fujifilm S8600 camera and tripod, but can access Pentax cameras, light boxes etc. I'm hoping someone may be able to make some suggestions on how to achieve this.

    Kind regards

    Brenden
    WP_20170127_15_10_10_Pro.jpgDSCF0173.jpg

  2. #2
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    Re: Photography of scratched laptop screens

    just a thought that you have prob tried...

    don't take the shots head on... take them at an angle and make the light work for you... I find cracks like them stand out more when the light is against them... (refraction)

  3. #3
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    Re: Photography of scratched laptop screens

    Something that might be worth a try is to dust the screen with talcum powder first. Then give the screen a gentle wipe across the cracks/scratches with some tissue. The talc might hold in the scratches which should make it easier to photograph them.

  4. #4
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    Re: Photography of scratched laptop screens

    Thanks for the replies.

    Sonic, I have tried many different angles, without success. I can end up with many different light sources, either from daylight through the window plus ceiling lights. I've tried out in the sun also.

    closei, That is an idea I haven't thought of. I'll have to give it a try and let you know the results.

  5. #5
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    Re: Photography of scratched laptop screens

    Hmm, might be worth trying to even out the refection on the screen so you could get an even exposure.
    Maybe try reflecting window light back on to the screen using one of those portable whiteboards that I remember from school and see how that goes.
    Daniel

  6. #6
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    Re: Photography of scratched laptop screens

    I think your angled approach is the way to go, however, the image you've posted shows some harsh light sources. Is it possible to get an angle where the (only) light source is a light coloured wall with a reasonably even light? you might need some lights with some shades to block the light from hitting the screen directly from the light.

    The problem with matt screens is they're designed to not have hard reflections, and they do that by scattering light from all over the place, so any source of light could potentially thwart your attempts to get your documentary evidence. My thought is that you totally eliminate all sources of light and carefully control the amount and the direction, and having a large surface area for that source so that any "reflections of that source will be even.

    Just an idea I had - untested and may not work ...


    Looking at your images I'm starting to think it probably wont work, and that what you need is for a large dark wall to place to provide a black direct reflection, and then have a source light from near the camera, or try moving the light source away from the camera with gradually increasing angle to try and find a sweet spot between reflection from the dark wall, off the majority of the screen, and reflection off the scratches from your light source. I don't think having the screen on will help as the light that will show up scratches is most likely to be light external to the screen. ... still an un-tried (Probably unscientific) method
    John Blackburn
    My Flickr page
    "Life is like a camera! Focus on what is important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don't work out take another shot."

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