Friday, May 3, 2013

Photographing Art Work

Taking a traditional painting and trying to turn it into a well presented digital image can be tricky. To get to the best representation there is a need to get a good photo of it and do the right editorial work.

In this blog, I'll cover the photography part.

Here are 2 examples (click to view):

Window – It's better to take photos outside, but it was cold during the winter, so I took some photos of my paintings near a window. The biggest problem is that there is a gradient of light, lighter by the window, darker further away.

Shade – Taken outside in the shade. I personally believe that is the closest to the original look of the painting.

Sunlight – Direct sunlight fills the painting with very bright colors, sometimes brighter than the actual colors. If the painting has glossy areas, they will shiny. If there is some texture in the painting, it will cast shadows.

Flash – A big no no. The focus of the light usually in the center, darker around. Glossy areas pick up most of the light and make the painting look as if it is covered in plastic food wrap.

No flash – In rather dark place it will be really hard to get the focus right, most of the times the photos come out very blurry and with a slight color change.

Room light – Most of the room lights have a touch of yellow in them, the yellow can be clearly seen in the photo.

Additional tips:
  1. Take photos of your paintings before you varnish them, the gloss is very often hard to deal with.
  2. The best time of the day to take photos is around noon, the later it gets, the more yellow – orange the light becomes.
  3. Some paintings photograph better in direct sunlight (if there is no gloss or texture), but from my personal experience, the closest colors to my paintings, are in the photos taken in the shade.
  4. Take at least 3 photos, there is always a chance for something to go wrong. Look through all the photos and pick the best one.
  5. The easiest way to know that the light source is good enough is when your camera is set on auto (flash when needed, no flash when not needed) and it doesn't flash.

Your work deserves a good representation!

I hope it helped..

1 comment:

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