Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Photographing your paintings

Here are some tips, from various people, for photographing your paintings, which I found online this morning:

"...I have photographed many paintings with no flash at all. The key is to photograph outside on a cloudy day so that the light is diffused. With this method, you will discover that textures in the paint medium come through, but without cast shadows that a bright sun or flash will cause. Another thing to be aware of is to keep your camera paralell with the work - whether you shoot horizontally or vertically, make sure the image doesn't look wider on either side, top, or bottom. If your camera allows it, bracket exposures - an under-exposed negative will give you loss of depth of color and contrast, and over-exposed can cause an increase in contrast..."

"...one of the best and easiest ways to do it is to use daylight balanced film (ektachrome 100 has fine grain) and hang the painting in bright shade OUTDOORS. You get extremely accurate color rendition, and the soft quality of the light is much like the ideal gallery skylight. You can set up a little studio outdoors, with seamless background paper, or simply hang the pictures on a white wall."

"...You can try to photograph your paintings during the day outside, "Late Afternoon". Or you can bounce your flash off a white wall."

"...I would go for daylight. Pick an overcast but bright day in an open situation, which should give you even and fairly neutral light...Probably the most important factor is making sure that the front element is absolutely parallel to the artwork."

"...shoot in bright sun with daylight transparency film. Galleries and juried shows usually want 35mm slides, although prints may be acceptable..."

"...To avoid reflections, it is best to coat your acrylics with a satin lacquer or artist medium prior to photographing...the farther back you are the easier it is to control reflection problem. Electronic flash can be used; however, no way to see problem reflections. If you don't want to purchase a lighting outfit, you could shoot in open shade; however, you probably need to use color correction filter to adjust for 'bluer'light."

These tips are from: http://www.canadian-artist.com/PhotoTips.html

"Tips for Photographing Artwork
The presentation of your artwork is very important to you as an artist. When preparing images for display on the Internet, the resulting image can only be as good as the photograph from which it originates. If the photograph is of poor quality, digital enhancement can only do so much to improve the quality, and even then the results may not accurately represent the artists work.

The following are some basic tips that can dramatically improve your art photos:

Try to use diffuse natural sunlight. A room with large bright windows on a sunny day is excellent. But avoid having sunlight directly on your subject work. Outdoors on a bright but cloudy day can also be excellent.
If using artificial light use multiple indirect light sources. Do not use a flash mounted directly on the camera.
Photograph paintings un-framed whenever possible. Especially try to avoid photographing artwork which is mounted under glass.
Try to position your artwork securely on a flat surface such that you can photograph it straight on (at right angles).
Use a tripod for your camera if you have access to one.
Position your camera at a distance from the artwork such that the art fills most of the viewfinder without cropping any of the sides or corners.
When photographing paintings, check that the edges of the painting are straight (parallel) with the sides and the top/bottom edges of the viewfinder. If they are not straight then your camera is not positioned squarely in front of the piece, or your artwork needs to be tilted up or down.
Focus your camera as carefully as possible. Out of focus images are more difficult to correct than exposure problems. (On manual SLR's use a slightly higher F-stop if possible, to increase the depth of field and minimize the chance of focus problems.)
Many of todays smaller automatic focus cameras cannot focus at a close distance. Check the manual or instructions for your camera to see what the minimum focal distance is.
If you have a camera with manual exposure controls, take shots of each piece with slightly under and slightly over exposed settings in addition to shooting at the correct exposure. This will give you a variety of results to choose from."

1 comment:

Maria W said...

Good tips! I will have to make use of them, as my photos aren't very good.