View Full Version : how do you photograph drawings

05-11-2006, 03:52 PM
Anybody have any tips for taking photos of pastel drawings. Mine keep coming out very "grainy" looking. I see all this beautiful ones that are posted. I have a good digital camera with high resolution and what white meter but am having no luck. The actual pictures don't look right. Any hints or help will be greatly appreciated.

05-11-2006, 04:07 PM

I guess I've posted a couple of links on that, here at this forum.
Don't forget that lighting is very important.



05-11-2006, 04:28 PM
I usually scan most of my smaller paintings (8x10 and under) I like that I end up with a really high resolution image that way.

For larger paintings, I step back a bit, set my camera to Macro mode and then zoom in until the painting fills the viewfinder. Snap. and it's done. Macro mode will pick up better detail - at least that's what I've found. I do find that I need to take many many more photos when I actually use a camera to capture artwork and better pictures are taken when using a tripod.

I also adjust the contrast of the photo in photoshop - Auto Contrast usually does the trick - just to make the colours read truer on my monitor.

05-11-2006, 05:05 PM
Most digital cameras have various resolution settings. Might want to check see if it is set to high res. Poor lighting will cause grainyness so might try more lighting. Cameras encode the data in jpeg format and it is adjustable as well. Might want to check that. Should be able to get a decent picture with a camera that is 3megapixals or better. I've found natural sunlight provides good lighting if the flash is washing the picture out. Hope this helps....

05-11-2006, 05:45 PM
What I find works best is take your painting outside on a overcast day.

05-11-2006, 05:48 PM
I have also found doing my photos in the am work best...but since I got the Ott light, I use that with no flash...

Susan Borgas
05-12-2006, 05:32 AM
I take photos of my own work indoors without a flash. I have a double white light ceiling light switched on plus my large window bare of covering.

The photo is taken on a timer so that there is no movement what so ever with the camera.

Painting and camera is taken to my office and images uploaded to the computer.

Using PhotoShop; I use the Skew tool to straighten the perspective up if I haven’t managed to get the painting square on. Select the part of the image that you want and paste into a new blank canvas by going into File then select New. I then auto contrast the image. Often I need to fade the contrast back to about 80%. I also may need to fiddle with the color balance and that is the reason that I have the painting next to me so that I can edit the image to match. Sometimes I will use the curve tool as well.

I am lucky to have a graphics monitor that I make sure is kept tweaked using the Adobe Gamma tool.

I always use PaintShop Pro to resize my images as they save as a smaller file than PhotoShop without loosing image quality.

For more ideas editing images this is a very handy website http://www.lonestardigital.com/

Hope this is of some help to find a way that will suit you :).

05-12-2006, 04:24 PM
Hi once more,

There's a sticky thread about this at the Oils forum.