View Full Version : photographing older pieces

02-14-2012, 10:27 AM
I have been reworking my photo system for artwork. I have a 4'X5' homosote board covered in black felt that I use. I have also installed photo flood lights and polarizing filters. The photo floods I use are balanced CFL bulbs. I also invested in a gray photo card, 18% gray. After white balancing my camera and making adjustments I have noticed a major increase in the color quality and accuracy. Following are some of the results based on works I have been finding as I rearrange my studio.






This last one is a work in progress. Far from done but the color is amazingly close.

02-14-2012, 12:21 PM
Wow Howard the color and clarity of these is just amazing, I think you have solved the photographing problem quite nicely! You are so smart.. hmm won't let me give you a thumbsup little thingy on the paintings, WIP and set up..but I am anyway. haha


02-14-2012, 02:13 PM
The new piece is very interesting...and as always, I like your older works!! I wish I could get the colors right...seems like the changes SHOULD be the same each time...but nope.

Rick G
02-14-2012, 09:08 PM
Nice work Howard. Getting the white balance right is critical to getting accurate color.

Susan, unless there's no other source of light than your photo lights (other lights or windows), the color temperature will vary each time you shoot.

02-15-2012, 01:05 AM
i like this grouping- very vibrant! fun

02-15-2012, 04:16 AM
Thanks for sharing this Howard - incorrect color info is what continues to dog painters putting up their pictures on the net, and you can only correct things up to a limit during post-processing. I love how you got those purple/violet/brown shadows in the 2nd and 4th pic - I assume they are fairly accurate representations of the original. Often, its these shadow details which are lost in digital pics, as also subtler tonal work.

Pray, would you elaborate a bit on this -'After white balancing my camera and making adjustments'

Great works, btw :)

02-17-2012, 11:47 AM
White balance is fairly easy on digital slur cameras. Follow the directions from the camera maker for your model. I use a gray card. Very careful about no shadows. Once white balance is done, I set up the bracketing, generally 1 stop up and one down. Once the photos are in the computer I may have to straighten out the image. Crop out the background and if necessary I may make minor adjustments to the levels. Keep it simple.