View Full Version : scanning/photographing our work

03-16-2011, 08:48 AM
I wonder what process others use when their work is finished. I tried photographing mine with my camera, but found it very difficult to deal with the shine and reflections and light on the board, so I have been taking them to a professional photographic house where they have been scanned on a flat bed scanner and produced raw images and tif files. They have also colour corrected them - at some cost. Today I learned that they have changed their machines and the flat bed scanner has been abandoned in favour of another machine which will cost me $100.00 to produce the same result!!!!
I will have to change the way I do things, and am interested in what others do, what equipment they use and how accurate the colours are in the printed image. I use the printed images for my portfolio.

03-16-2011, 10:17 AM
Holy cow; my gallery scans my originals for $20, then makes prints for me. A 5x7 print costs me $4.25, 8x10 costs me $5, etc. The color corrections are included in the scan. He doesn't give me raw images or tif files though and I haven't asked for them. I just use one of the prints for my in-person portfolio if I'm not happy with my own printed one, and I scan my own originals or take my own photos for my website.

03-16-2011, 04:17 PM
I too am very interested in everyone's answer to this question.

Lynn, I tried to go to your web page but it said it was unpublished???????? Just wanted to let you know.

03-16-2011, 07:31 PM
I send all my stuff to Mary Shaw at Heartland Printworks in Indianapolis to get scanned by the big scanner. Mary is Top Notch! she gives that something extra, what ever that may be from one time to the next. I just love her! And the prints are outstanding!

03-16-2011, 07:39 PM
Thankyou, Lynn, it's a bit of a drive to Philadelphia - air fares and accommodation etc.........I don't know of any gallery here that scans and prints the photos!
Pamela you gave Mary Shaw such a wrap up! I'm not sure if you are recommending her to me!; - if you are I will need to start saving up now to get to Indianapolis! Thankyou all the same!

03-16-2011, 07:42 PM
I have the same problem when photographing. Cathy seems to have nailed it somehow.

So, I scan mine. If they are too large for the scanner, I use an oldie but goodie scanner that I ripped the lip off. That means that the art sits on the glass (not held too high by the plastic lip) and therefore stays in focus. I might have to scan up to four times (like for a 16x20) rotating each time. I then stitch the scans together in Gimp (or Photoshop - whatever you've got) which I find a bit time consuming but extremely easy to get accurate. Then not only have I got my whole scan but the resolution is massive if I need to print. I do my own colour correction and I double check it by putting it on a usb drive and testing on a different computer to see if the screen isn't telling lies. This last part is simply because I have extra computers.

03-16-2011, 07:44 PM
I just scanned in a piece using my broken $60 canon scanner and it probably produced a better result than my $750 camera lol!

I work with photoshop, being a digital artist, so I have a lot of touching-up equipment handy. If you ever want anything touched up, let me know and I can do it for free.

I think it's much cheaper in the long run to save up for a decent scanner/camera and some photo-editing software. I recently enquired about getting my artwork professionally photographed and was quoted over $100 an hour.

Good luck, I'm still trying to find the right way to photograph/scan my art :)

Diana Lee
03-17-2011, 02:52 AM
When I want to share a piece here or in an email I either scan it or photograph it depending on the size. My scanner is not so hot and I am no photographer, but it's ok for very small images. for potential prints I send my stuff to Mary Shaw! She has a huge scanner so I send her as many will fit on the bed and she scans them all at once. She prints my giclees as well.


03-17-2011, 03:23 AM
I use Mary as well but Australia is quite a distance from Indianaoplis so a bit out of the question. :D

It seems to me that Cathy has some tips in photographing your work in one of the stickies at the top of the forum...you might want to check them out.
Here's the link... http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=464224

One little tip from me...whether you like your board glossy or flat, use a coat of matte spray before you take a photo so you don't get a glare or reflection...you can always spray it glossy after.

03-17-2011, 06:07 AM
Patrick, thankyou for your input....I am a bit short on equipment and skills eg I don't have a printer/scanner; I have photoshop on my computer but am in the very early stages of learning how to use it - I am still learning how to do some (one?) of the very basic tasks, using the books from the library and the help screens on youtube, which is why I have used Atkins Technicolour or Office Works for my scanning and printing.
Willowsee, I might take you up on your offer - where are you in Australia? and that may mean I would need to send you the original so you could colour matching and correction?
Thankyou, Diana, however, it's a long bus ride from Adelaide to Indianapolis!!!!! I'm saving to go to Melbourne for a 3 day holiday- Indianapolis will take a bit longer!!!!!!!!!!
Thankyou, Lorna, I have just read the thread you suggested: I notice that thread was created 10 years ago - and not a lot has changed! Cathy's suggestion is very helpful - I wonder if Cathy would consider coming to Oz?
I am using Krylon acrylic satin spray to finish. I'll see if I can find some matt finish.
Thankyou for your contributions. Looks like a new camera, and/or printer/scanner and/or lessons to drive Photoshop might be the go! That's about $1300 worth! Hmmmmmmm! A big ask!

03-17-2011, 07:06 AM
Excellent tip Lorna... Noted.

Diane Cutter
03-17-2011, 10:00 AM
I photograph mine and use Photoshop to color correct and crop. It's worked well enough that the CD I give to the local printers has worked perfectly for notecards.

I recently bought a new printer/scanner (Epson) and, though not expensive, it did a great job on the scan for my challenge piece. I did have to do a little Photoshopping but minimal.

I do use the mat finish so haven't had a problem with glare.

I would be very interested in Mary's services if I start getting larger especially since our local printer is more a mom-and-pop outfit and doesn't have a wide selection of papers and finishes for reproductions. Could someone give me her website/information? Thanks in advance.


03-17-2011, 12:01 PM
I use a commercial printing house who does billboards and who does all of my giclee printing. I realized long ago that it is worth it time and money wise to find a professional instead of trying to be that professional. Lets me spend do much more time on the drawing board. Que imaging in Houston is my go to person. They have a Cruse flatbed scanner that does up to 48" x 96" which I need because I LOVE large format. Used to use my own scanner that did 11x17 at super high res, but technology "outgrew' that, and no drivers are available. There are many more of these scanners out there now than when they were first invented. Sure it costs $138 for a scan of a 48" x 24" piece, but it is perfect, and deep black and in the best focus. That is the reason my work is accepted in most juried shows. I get one proof and a jpg plus tiff for my own files for $20 per image.

03-17-2011, 12:04 PM
Another heads up...I have my work printed on photographic paper with a satin finish and have it mounted immediately on an archival base, then laminated with a UV and moisture protectant. Expensive, but I have had no problem with sales. Look exactly like the originals. I also use Lascaux spray fixative that is a UV protectant, available thru Dick Blick online, for my originals varnish. No orange peel finish, perfect spray applicator.

03-17-2011, 12:25 PM
Pamela you gave Mary Shaw such a wrap up! I'm not sure if you are recommending her to me!; - if you are I will need to start saving up now to get to Indianapolis! Thankyou all the same!

Ya sorry Christobel for dangling that carrot and teasing you I totally forgot that you were halfway across the world.......sorry...:o

Diane here is Mary's info.
Mary Shaw
Heartland Printworks
212 West 10th Street, Suite B100
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202

Diane Cutter
03-17-2011, 12:50 PM
Thanks, Pamela... :thumbsup:


03-17-2011, 06:05 PM
Thanks, Pamela apology accepted! There's a few of us here in Oz - as yet a small population of scratchers.
I note Sally's methods - that to me would THE ideal - top shelf stuff! I wish!