Now you have a better understanding of the camera, equipment and lighting from Part 1 – so what’s next?
It is time to experiment with taking your own photographs. The steps below will help you achieve great results. The quality has been good enough for gallery opening invitations, magazine articles, advertisements, museum catalogs and my website and blog. Now the only time I hire a ‘pro’ is when I need a high resolution reproductions such as giclee, posters or books.
With these easy digital tips, you can learn how to photograph your own artwork the easy way. This is how I do it…

PHOTOGRAPHING THE ART!

  1. Make sure your batteries are fully charged and don’t forget the ‘memory card’!!!
  2. Set up art on easel.
  3. Secure camera on tripod.
  4.  
  5. Use only one light source to illuminate the art.
  6. Wear dark clothing to cut down on possible color or glare reflection.
  7. Adjust the White Balance (easy to do, check your manual) for the proper light source.
  8. Set the camera to “P” mode ( or manual if you know what you are doing!)
  9. Carefully align the art in the camera.
    1.  Make sure the sides are straight and tops and bottoms are level in your viewfinder or LCD.
    2.  If you cannot square all the lines, if the entire piece of art is in sharp focus – the image can be squared in image software.
  10. Make sure the camera is steady or use self timer.
  11. Immediately check the image in the LCD. Check and double-check apparent sharpness.
    1. Enlarge is several times to see if it is in focus.
    2. Check for glare
  12. Take at least 3 shots of every piece of art
    1. I often try different light angles for different results.
    2. Experiment!
  13. The ‘pros’ say that most art looks better with slight underexposure.
  14. Try and upload the images to your computer so you can reshoot if needed!
  15. Use Photoshop or other image software to crop and correct colors.

Be patient with yourself and the learning curve. Strangely, I have not found the perfect lighting formula for shooting my own paintings. Sometimes my art photographs better in the shade and othertimes the color is better when angled toward the sun.  However, if I take the time to try different lighting choices, I am usually assured a good shot. You can see the photographs I have taken of my art on my art website, http://www.lorimcnee.com!

  Good Luck!  – Lori 🙂

 

 For further reading: http://arthistory.about.com/od/collecting_and_appraising/l/bl_photoartqt.htm

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