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Old 09-10-2008, 07:05 AM
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jenbray jenbray is offline
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Photographing paintings

Can anyone give me tips on taking good photographs of my paintings. I have a reasonable quality digital camera but my photographs dont show my paintings like they are really. I don't use the camera flash and try to take the photos on a flat surface to no avail. My pictures always end up wonky or out of focus. I also end up having to crop lots of the picture and the painting to get a properly square image. This is driving me nuts, please help.
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:44 AM
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~JON ~JON is offline
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Re: Photographing paintings

Hello!

I am sure that members will have some good ideas for you...meanwhile have a look at this WC! article. Good luck!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/2810/87/
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:08 PM
sasharkv sasharkv is offline
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Re: Photographing paintings

Here is the process I take for my gallery:
1- Set painting on floor with a lot of natural light in the room
2- Take picture without flash at the highest resolution
3- Open picture in Adobe Photoshop and use the lasso tool to select four corners. Then use the transform/skew tool to shape it properly.
4- Crop the image and resize to 72 dpi for the web.
5- Adjust the levels to display it like you want.
This may not be the best way but that is what I used to design the website in my sig.

Hope that helped.
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:59 AM
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cjorgensen cjorgensen is offline
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Re: Photographing paintings

I put the picture on the ground in the sunlight. I stand over it and shoot straight down. I just try to align the edges as squarley as possible, becuase I will crop it.

When I get inside, I download it and get it into Photoshop. I crop the picture, just looseing the slimest edge.

Then I put the painting next to my computer screen, and I tweek the saturation and the colors until it looks like the real thing.

Then I save it under "file_name improved". Then I resize it about 8x10 for my blog and save it "file_name improved 8x10", Then I size it again at 500 pixels for Wet Canvas and call it "file_name improved wc". Then they are all right next to each other in my file, and I know what each one is.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:42 PM
GreenWave Solutions GreenWave Solutions is offline
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Re: Photographing paintings

That is a good question. I have the same issues and the advice I have gotten has helped me.
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Old 09-11-2008, 06:07 PM
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stlukesguild stlukesguild is online now
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Re: Photographing paintings

The advice in the article is very good. Even if you are using digital as opposed to tungsten film it is ideal to have the lights at 45 degrees and the camera mounted on a tripod.
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:11 AM
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BeyondTheNineSquares BeyondTheNineSquares is offline
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Re: Photographing paintings

Have you posted this question over in the Photography Forum? There are lots of folks there who could help with this.
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:16 AM
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Antony Burt Antony Burt is offline
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Re: Photographing paintings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nascent
Hello!

I am sure that members will have some good ideas for you...meanwhile have a look at this WC! article. Good luck!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/2810/87/

An excellent article. Well worth the read. You can't go wrong following the advice (it will give you a proven method of getting great photos of your artwork almost all the time.)
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:32 PM
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Purleyfineart Purleyfineart is offline
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Re: Photographing paintings

sasharky and everyone,
your point "resize to 72 dpi for the web" does nothing whatsoever. The dpi value is only ever used by printers, not by monitors. Display devices only care about the total image size in pixels. Other threads on WC discuss this.

My own experience with images of watercolours is that resizing the image (I mean the height or width, not the meaningless dpi) is a VERY BAD thing. This causes subtle effects like harsh edges between different blocks of colour. I now deliberately set my camera to a low resolution (2 Mpixel image) to ensure that the image size fits within the WC uploader's limits. This gives much better results.

Regards
Andrew
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:42 AM
sasharkv sasharkv is offline
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Re: Photographing paintings

Thanks for pointing that out Andrew. The dpi for the web does not matter. I am now out of the matrix.
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:49 PM
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Re: Photographing paintings

I photograph my paintings verticly.....I put a book under the back leg of my easel so that it doesn't tilt back. I'm going to try Andrew's method of lowering the resolution.....seems like a good idea.
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Old 09-19-2008, 01:18 AM
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Re: Photographing paintings

I use natural light or daylight artificial light. I place my paintings as vertical as possible, usually on my easel and align the sides of the viewfinder with the sides of the painting. This sometimes means moving the camera around until the sides and top and bottom look squared up.

I take several shots of each at a couple different settings to be sure I have one that is closest to the original. I have a Mac, so I use iPhoto to make most of my adjustments. Be careful to not get too close or zoom in too close, as that seems to cause some blurring. Using a tripod is a great idea, but sometimes you don't want to take the time, so a faster setting will cut down on shake.

I tend to lighten my images to put them online, and even more so to print them, as I believe that they appear darker in print than with the light of the screen.
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