Photographing whiteboards

Dave Smith wrote about his new camera, justified on the basis of recording whiteboards after meetings, triggered this post. In his post, he states,

“The one problem is the flash, which tends to white out an area of the whiteboard, requiring either multiple shots or shooting off-center, which leads to odd looking results.”

Since he has comments disabled on his blog, this post is my way of telling him (and others) about the program I use to clean up the resulting photos in terms of contrast and geometry. That software is Whiteboard Photo. Unfortunately, it’s considerably more expensive than it was when I bought it on the recommendation of Ron Jeffries. Try the trial version, though. When I got it (circa 2001), the watermark included a discount offer. Maybe it still does.

I don’t get drawings as good-looking as those shown on their website. Maybe that’s because I don’t draw that neatly. But I do get drawings that are good enough to print, or to email to the meeting participants for their notes. There are other options, which I haven’t tried, mentioned on the C2 wiki here and here.

Unfortunately, my last consulting client had a prohibition against cameras on the premises, but I’ve found that taking photos of whiteboards and flipcharts to be “just enough” documentation, most of the time. And this software eliminates the keystoning and barrel distortion such that off-axis photos are not a problem. It also turns dingy photos into high contrast on a white background.

While I don’t want to discourage anyone from getting a new camera, I can recommend this software.

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