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AnnaLisa
06-14-2012, 04:53 PM
Hello
Just wanted to ask you if you have noticed that when you take a photo
of your painting with your camera, the colours are not the same as on the
painting. They are 'stronger' brighter in the camera than in real life?

What camera do you prefer? Do you use a digital or a digital/systemcamera?
Maybee you don´t call it a systemcamera, maybee a tripod? Those that we used before the digital ones.

The photos I see here on wetcanvas looks good. I have a Sony but for instance, the blue color appear so strong in the photo.

DAK723
06-14-2012, 08:48 PM
Yes, trying to get accurate photos of artwork is an often discussed topic here on WC! Many folks blame themselves and wonder what they are doing wrong, but while cameras are an unbelievable invention, they are not that accurate when it comes to color. And, of course, as I think most people know, they can't expose correctly for a wide range of values - their value range being considerably more limited than the human eye.

Different cameras seem to be better at certain colors and more exaggerated in others. I know my Canon exaggerates reds, for example.

Another thing that many cameras have, is settings for contrast, sharpness and color saturation. On my camera (if I remember correctly) I can set these to be 0, 1 or 2 - the higher number being "more".

I have a digital SLR, but almost any decent camera will produce pictures that look good on a computer, where the number of pixels is so small.

What I have to do - and I think most others do as well - is manipulate the photos of my artwork on the computer on programs like Photoshop. Every photo needs manipulation, without exception. Almost all will need adjustments in exposure (light, dark, contrast) as well as color saturation. Since I am already aware that my camera exaggerates reds, I know to reduce the red saturation. Many times individual color percentage adjustments are needed too, especially if I am creating a computer file that I may use for notecards or prints of my work. Then I really have to work hard to try and match the colors of the original artwork.

If you have already realized that your camera exaggerates blues, then you already know one of the steps you might want to take!

Almost any decent photo manipulation program does the basic things you need to correct your photos. Programs like Photshop Elements (you definitely don't need the full version of Photoshop) and Paint Shop Pro work extremely well and are reasonably priced (usually), but you can download free software like Gimp which also does the job. There may be some other free software that I am unaware of.

Hope this helps.

Don

the drover's dog
06-14-2012, 09:19 PM
I reviewed a cheap Fujifilm camera on my blog a while ago, from the perspective of a landscape artist and also photographing art work. You might discover some points there that apply for your use. For example, the built-in big zoom cameras can create severe barrel distortion when photographing artworks.

Not supposed to link directly to my blog here, but the article is called "A Low Priced Camera for Landscape Artists", and is in the most popular list on the right of the pages.

Cheers,

Dale

allydoodle
06-15-2012, 01:20 AM
Photographing artwork is always a challenge, and like Don said most times adjustments will need to be made. Take a look at this free program, it's called FastStone Image Viewer (http://download.cnet.com/FastStone-Image-Viewer/3000-2192_4-10324485.html), and it's one of the best free programs I've found.

AnnaLisa
06-15-2012, 01:10 PM
Thank you all for your respons. I will have a look at what you have
suggested.

I have a Minolta camera, not a digital one. And with that came 2
objectives, one AF 28-100 and the other one is longer one in
size, AF 75-300. I maybee should start to read and learn about
it, haha. I have taken some photos of my artwork but it came out
waaaay too light. Like overexposed. I took the photos outside.

The bad thing is that you have to wait one week to get the photos,
while with my digital camera Sony I see the result at once, but
maybee the cameras that came before the digital ones are better.

I took now a photo with my cellphone, and it is strange but the
colours seems more accurate with that one!! Funny, huh?

Ok, I will look at the article and photo manipulation programs, and
Don I have to learn about my camera.

Thank you.

DAK723
06-15-2012, 01:19 PM
The bad thing is that you have to wait one week to get the photos,
while with my digital camera Sony I see the result at once, but
maybee the cameras that came before the digital ones are better.



In my opinion, your digital camera will work better than your old film camera because the most important aspect of taking pictures of your artwork will be in the photo manipulation you can do on the computer.

You can, of course, manipulate the photos you have printed by scanning them, but then you are dealing with another device that is not 100% accurate (the scanner).

Don

AnnaLisa
06-15-2012, 03:32 PM
Ok, Don that sound good. So maybee I will use the Minolta if I want to
print out a photo to show in a portfolio and keep using my digitalcamera
for computer.
I have a Photoshop elements somewhere a little old one, have to find it.

I have uploaded my first image now, but the image is very large.
How do you do to show your pictures a lot smaller, enough big so people
can see it, but yet not that large so it fills up the hole computer screen?

sketchZ1ol
06-15-2012, 04:48 PM
hello
i still use a minolta and a canon hard film camera for some outdoor photos .
a 52-55mm lens has the least linear or colour distortion .
the film maker is important ;
kodak pushes red , fuji pushes blue , agfa changes with different film speeds/iso .
because digital camera images can be seen right away ,
devices such as scrims , reflectors , bounce light from flash
can be added/adjusted to make the image on the camera display screen
to look like what you see without using computer software/programs .
> how other people's computers read the data is something that cannot be controlled easily , including this website .

there are some pastel paintings i have made which do not photograph well
no matter who or what is used ...
so be it :rolleyes:

Ed :}

AnnaLisa
06-15-2012, 05:06 PM
Hi Ed

Thanks for your post. Thank you for telling the different issues with the film.

I used a film with iso 400 and fotographed the paintings outdoor, but not
of course in sunlight. And it came out sooo light.

What I will try now is to use a kodak film I found here at home, with iso 200. I think it is easier with lower iso.

Another thing is when you take outdoor fotos I think the hard film camera is
good. When you take fotos of your paintings its another ballgame.

Maybee we have to go to a professional fotographer to take the foto of our
paintings that we like the most. I also believe that not every fotographer
can take good fotos of paintings, maybee they have to be specialised in
that category, I don´t know.

Colorix
06-16-2012, 06:36 AM
Or you learn how to be a pro photographer... (and a pro framer, pro website constructor, pro marketer, pro ....)

Different pigments reflect light differently. What to your eye may look like an exact correct value match may be 'read' by the camera as greatly different.

Very often blues turn out way too light, as that is a special property of blue. In the good old days when newspapers were made by the cut and paste method (long strips of text, waxed on the backside, mounted on a sheet of paper), the mounting board had blue guiding lines for columns, because these blue lines vanished when the page was photographed. Red equaled black, when a colour picture was turned into a b/w one, while blue always turned up way too light.

Then, to make things even more fun, different brands of sticks reflect light differently. A Sennelier mark in a Rembrandt (pastel stick) painting will positively *shine*.

The colour of the ambient light affects the photo, too. Blue sky (painting in shadow) will make blues glow. Direct sunlight will hot up reds and yellows, and mute blues. (At least where we live.)

And so on and on.

Plus, when viewed in indoor light, especially if lights are on, then it all changes again.

We can only get to an approximation.

The best advice is to learn to fix it in the computer. And as most computers are indoors, under indoor lights, it is better to adjust the image so it looks right in those conditions, IMHO. Which you can't do with the analgog (film) camera.

I used to say: "I only wanted to paint, not learn all this other stuff." No more, as it is un-avoidable if I want to have a website and show my stuff, and print cards or whatever.

AnnaLisa
06-16-2012, 09:32 AM
Hahaha Charlie, I know what you mean...I first thought it was enough to learn how to paint and then learn how to be a salesperson...haha

Thank you very much for your very good info!!

I don´t know about your area but here it has been raining for weeks,
exept for two days....and it is june now. One would like to go overseas
to paint.

Colorix
06-16-2012, 12:05 PM
AnnaLisa, :-D. ... pro carpenter, pro glazer, pro internet marketer, pro on copyright legalities (immaterialrätt, upphovsrätt), pro designer of businesscards and stationery, pro curator. Neverending.

As are the clouds and rain... Looks like one of those miserable summers. I have hopes for July.

And I can't spell "analog" (in post above).

sketchZ1ol
06-16-2012, 05:44 PM
hello
hope the weather is better for you folks in the coming days :)

there are a few tricks/techniques for taking pictures indoors using the flash ;
( be sure that the camera is on a steady surface or a tripod )
have two light sources aimed at the picture \_/
cover the flash with
facial tissue , paper napkin , cloth handkerchief , scrap of white bed linen , etc .
take photos with each material , and review/compare in your camera viewscreen .

> my thought is that there has to be some reliable sourcepoint ,
and the less ' correction ' needed is time saved .

Ed :}

jackiesimmonds
06-17-2012, 04:04 AM
I too use the Fastone Image Viewer free software and it is excellent, I can adjust the colours, no problem.

However, if you download it, be aware that the menus are hidden...you have to hover your mouse to the far left of the screen, when you open a photo to work on, then the menus jump out for you!

Without knowing this, you would struggle.

But it is brilliant software, I really recommend it.

Dot Hoffman
06-17-2012, 10:53 AM
Is Fastone Image Viewer available for the Mac?

jackiesimmonds
06-18-2012, 06:44 AM
why not check it out........it's free so you do not have much to lose.

Faststone image viewer, not fastone, sorry.

Phil Bates
06-19-2012, 05:40 PM
Earlier, you mentioned the bright blue. If the images are too blue, it is most likely a white balance problem. If you are shooting outdoors or indoors with full spectrum light, and the camera is set to incandescent light (tungsten light) the images will have a blue cast. This would be an issue with any camera you buy.

Conversely, if the camera is set to outdoor light and you are shooting indoors, the images could come out too warm, orange or yellow/green.

These problems are very difficult to fix in the computer.

Phil

MChesleyJohnson
06-20-2012, 09:50 AM
I recently discovered working with RAW images, and that has worked well for me - mostly because Adobe Photoshop has a neat tool for RAW images. You can make most of the color and value adjustments through it quite easily.

But, as Phil says, it's better to shoot it correctly to start with! :wink2:

Colorix
06-20-2012, 10:53 AM
PSE RAW isn't all that great, but it is way better than nothing.

And Phil brings out an important thing, the white balance. The luckiest accident I had with it was with the wb set to open shadow, and I happened to shoot golden sunset clouds, and the shadow wb photos looked great, while the awb and sunny wb were both washed out. So now I set it deliberately for the sunsets.

In PSE (Photoshop Elements, the affordable one), if the image is shot (also) as a RAW, it is possible to noodle with the WB if one makes a mistake. But, yes, waaay better to shoot correctly.

MChesleyJohnson
06-20-2012, 10:58 AM
What would you recommend for a RAW editor, Charlie? I'm open to suggestions!

Colorix
06-20-2012, 01:17 PM
Michael, Phil is really the right person, as he's a pro photographer. I'm just learning the stuff, starting from 'dummy' level, sharing discoveries and accidents... Most people recommend Lightroom, which just came out in a new version with a lower price, and it got good reviews so I'm eying it.

MChesleyJohnson
06-20-2012, 01:55 PM
I forgot to mention I'm using the full Adobe Photoshop, not PSE.

Lightroom is something I'll have to try!

Phil Bates
06-20-2012, 08:54 PM
I am mainly a cinematographer, rather than a still photographer. When I shoot stills, I am satisfied with PhotoJPEG and Photoshop, so I don't use a raw editor, thus I haven't tried Lightroom. When I shoot footage, it is RedCode RAW which can be read by Adobe AfterEffects.

...sorry, probably wasn't that helpful.

Phil

fjslightvision
06-21-2012, 12:01 AM
I use Apple's Aperture software and RAW, adjusting the image to match or come close to my original pastel while it is still in hand. Remember that the back lit monitor does have a different quality than a front lit painting.

Phil Bates
06-21-2012, 11:22 AM
Fjslightvision is correct, this is why it is so important to remove as many differences between monitor and front lit painting.

Here is my formula for successful photo display.

1. Set camera WB (white balance) to the white of the light source before snapping photos. Example: Direct sunlight is about 5600 Kelvin.

2. Bring up a full screen white image on your monitor display and set a pure white (or bright white) piece of paper on your easel. Compare the two, what differences do you see? You might need to shield your eyes from other objects in the room so you isolate those two things: monitor-paper.

3. Set the monitor brightness to match the brightness of the paper. You may need to add or subtract bulbs from your light fixture.

4. Calibrate the white balance of the monitor to the white of the room light source. Example, if using full spectrum fixture, monitor should be set to around 5000 Kelvin. Adjust up or down if it looks warmer or cooler.

By doing this exercise, you create a synergy between monitor and the painting surface. Your eyes will be less tired, and colors will be easier to find. Values will be easier to see and that is a BIG deal. :)

Phil

AnnaLisa
06-23-2012, 06:59 AM
Thank you all for posting your ideas and experience and knowledge!!!!!!

Wow I have to read and practice a lot now. When I took a photo of my painting of my dog for instance, she is black and the fur is shifting in brown.
She is a mix. Then I took a photo with my digital camera indoor, I set it to
automatic so it will automaticly set all that needs to be set.

And the blue was so strong even though I have not painted much blue.

When I took photos with my Minolta I was taking the photos for outdoor and I took them in the shadow but they came out like a fabric that has been in strong sunlight and the colours was almost gone.

I have to look at the WB as you say Phil. I will look at your list and see what my camera can do.

Hello Phil!!! I would like to take this opportunity to say that I saw your painting here on WC of a waterfall, WOOOOOOWWWW!!!!!

There are soo many beautiful paintings to watch, I have not watched all here
on WC but I can say that some times paintings touch the soul, like listening to a very very nice music when your soul enjoy to the sufficiently. I was sitting in awe when I saw your painting, wow.

What type of camera do you prefer when shooting the photos for sending them in here. Does your digital camera has many opportunities for manual
settings?

Phil Bates
06-26-2012, 03:16 PM
Thank you all for posting your ideas and experience and knowledge!!!!!!

Wow I have to read and practice a lot now. When I took a photo of my painting of my dog for instance, she is black and the fur is shifting in brown.
She is a mix. Then I took a photo with my digital camera indoor, I set it to
automatic so it will automaticly set all that needs to be set.

And the blue was so strong even though I have not painted much blue.

When I took photos with my Minolta I was taking the photos for outdoor and I took them in the shadow but they came out like a fabric that has been in strong sunlight and the colours was almost gone.

I have to look at the WB as you say Phil. I will look at your list and see what my camera can do.

Hello Phil!!! I would like to take this opportunity to say that I saw your painting here on WC of a waterfall, WOOOOOOWWWW!!!!!

There are soo many beautiful paintings to watch, I have not watched all here
on WC but I can say that some times paintings touch the soul, like listening to a very very nice music when your soul enjoy to the sufficiently. I was sitting in awe when I saw your painting, wow.

What type of camera do you prefer when shooting the photos for sending them in here. Does your digital camera has many opportunities for manual
settings?

I use a canon 40D and 5D Mark II. And yes they have all the manual settings. However most less expensive cameras have those options too. :)

Phil

AnnaLisa
06-27-2012, 03:18 PM
Thank you Phil for telling about your cameras, very kind!
It was good info you gave also to check the white paper and monitor.

Haha when I bought my cameras I was only thinking on the automaticly
side, that I should not have to think so much, just click and use the different
buttons for different motivs. The seller said that it was a Carl Zeiss on my digital camera and it is very good. I also was thinking of the mega pixels.
It is true that you have to have knowledge to know what questions to ask.

I just learned enough to take a normal photo, but I didnt continue to read
the brochure to learn more. It is also a rather cheap camera.

There is a button on my system camera for adjustments of exposure. I will check that one. And also the iso is maybee important.

Next time I buy cameras I will buy with more manual possibilities.
Now I know a little more to ask those questions to the seller. Thanks.

You who paint from a computer screen/monitor, I am thinking of the dust. Do you protect the monitor in any way?

Phil Bates
07-02-2012, 03:01 PM
Sorry for the late reply but have been away.

I don't seem to have much problem with dust on the monitor. I have found that pastel dust drifts downward as you paint, so it doesn't migrate toward the monitor much. (another reason why it is not good to blow on your painting) Any dust that does get on the monitor is easy to wipe off. :)

Phil

AnnaLisa
07-03-2012, 04:48 PM
Thats good to hear Phil!

I have been concerned about the dust.
It would be great to paint from a bigger monitor.

And if there is any opening or holes in the back of the monitor its easy to
cover with something.

Thank you for the info.

Its good to be away sometimes, its so easy to get stucked here in front of
the computer :)

AnnaLisa