WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > Explore Media > Photography > Photo Equipment and Software
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Reply  
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-13-2018, 01:00 AM
jfreeman343 jfreeman343 is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 6
 
Best pro techniques for photographing oil paintings

Hello fellow painters,

I have been trying different professional photography/giclee labs to capture and translate the highest fidelity possible for accurate color, depth, and range of values - all without glaze reflection "white rash" ruining it, which is what cross-polarization is for.

The problem seems to be with cross-polarization, which while eliminating reflections, robs the replicated image of its full range of richness in color (skews toward yellow and washes out highlights, whites), depth and range of values. It even seems to wash out the subtle variety of texture and detail, giving the whole painting a uniform micro-graininess kind of like that of freeze dried Folgers crystals. It made the whole picture plane comparatively flat, slightly yellow and over-contrasted. On past paintings I've taken good giclee photos and used Photoshop Elements to zoom way in and clone out the reflections, but this just time it just can't be fixed.

The proof in my dissatisfaction with the giclee/publication image by a highly rated pro came to me when I realized that my old iPhone 3 camera took gorgeous photos and even videos that much better showcased the richness and love that I put into my latest large painting. While the iPhone images had reflections, the richness overcame that. Even my detail shots taken on the iPhone were superb compared to zooming into the giclee TIFF which was comparatively horrible.

Is there something better that will eliminate reflections while not distorting color? Software, Mac, Photoshop or other technology? I wish there was "image archiving 2.0" as few of us can afford to hire the crew that archived the Unicorn Tapestry. Also, would I be better off buying the gear and learning to do this myself?

Thanks,
Jim
Reply With Quote
  #2   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-16-2018, 11:08 PM
Quint Quint is offline
Enthusiast
Tillamook, Oregon
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,097
 
Hails from United States
Re: Best pro techniques for photographing oil paintings

Jim, sounds like you have some real issues. Hard to answer without seeing what you have. I've reproduced some oils that look great (to me) and the prints I do satisfy me as well as some others. Don't give up. The process doesn't have to be overly complicated but doing it yourself can be rewarding. I actually enjoyed it.
Reply With Quote
  #3   Report Bad Post  
Old 11-07-2018, 07:15 PM
Daniel Smith Daniel Smith is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 12
 
Re: Best pro techniques for photographing oil paintings

The issues you are having sound as if your Polarizing filter is giving you color casts and possibly the digital sensor is giving your some problems.

Over the years, a lot of copy work for reproduction and entries into shows for artists. Never had an issue with the 8x10 and 4x5 and 35mm chromes. Now with digital things go faster and feedback is immediate.

A very good, sturdy tripod is something many seem to overlook. A lot of "sturdy" tripods do introduce minor movement when a shutter is tripped. Damping with a small bag of rice over the camera body while bracing legs with a sandbag/vibratio absorbing weight helps here. And no center column use - as it magnifies movement. I'm doing exposures of a few seconds to a few minutes and movement is a killer, but you are most likely well aware of that.

Light color temperature needs to be checked regularly - even with digital. Then the age and condition of the polarizing sheet used for the lighting. On the Polarizer over the lens I have a nice, neutral Nikkor filter I use. Second choice for me would be the Singh Ray filter. Both I have had for some time and know they work.

With digital you may need to check more than one camera and lens combination side by side. As silly as it sounds I have found my best copy work for art is with a Sigma DP3Merrill camera. Slow and clunky - like a mini View camera. But the sharpness and the color! Another body I found very good is the Canon EOS 1DsMkIII. It was over $8,000 new but on the used market is under $1000 now. These two have proven to be good for copy work with various types of art. Low ISO, optimum lens aperture. With the Canon I use a Macro lens for its flat field and sharpness. The DP3 Merrill is a fixed lens body. Sure nice to have no worries about dust on the sensor. I do use Color separation guides as well as Gray scale step wedges and a good ruler alongside the artwork for a frame as well as one without it. This helps with printers if and when the images go to press.

Work in a room that is dark and maybe with the camera centered in a large flat panel that is painted flat black - as this helps a lot to control some reflections. Any bright surfaces are masked with Gaffer tape so I don't get a light stand putting an odd reflection somewhere. I do use hot lights. Some friends like strobes. Just personal preference.

Below is a link to a good black that cuts reflections. It works well.
https://culturehustle.com/products/b...t-art-material

I would change one thing at a time. If you do more you introduce added variables into the picture - literally as well as figuratively.

Good luck, let us know how things go. I am on here from time to time and find some interesting things - and a lot way over my head. I photograph. News and commercial and personal Art since the early 1970's.
Reply With Quote
  #4   Report Bad Post  
Old 11-29-2018, 10:42 AM
Steve Glass Steve Glass is offline
New Member
Atlanta
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 14
 
Hails from United States
Re: Best pro techniques for photographing oil paintings

Have you tried getting the labs to deliver a TIFF file of thier capture to you. What if they shot an Xrite Color Checker in the same set up as your painting, then shot the painting (same setup). In Lightroom or ACR you can create a profile from the Xrite Color Checker frame and apply that to your image of the painting. Should bring the colors into where you want them.
Reply With Quote
  #5   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-16-2018, 03:15 PM
Adamphotoman's Avatar
Adamphotoman Adamphotoman is offline
Senior Member
Atlantic Canada
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 375
 
Hails from Canada
Re: Best pro techniques for photographing oil paintings

I have done this for a living since early 1980's. I no longer look for work, but I have a whole lot of experience. I ended using a Betterlight scanning back with HID Northlights. There are photographers all over the states with this kind of equipment and knowledge.

Jim, where are you located. Maybe there is someone better in your area.
For super exacting work there is a number of fiddly steps. Just hiring a pro photographer is not a solution, unless they specialize in fine art reproduction work.

Gear you will need if you want to do this yourself:
tripod
a geared tripod head [allows for precise independent movements]
continuous lighting & polarizers for both camera and for lens
Zigalign mirrors [helps to perfectly align the camera to the copy board : note most pros don't even know what this is]
a larger than your painting clean white card [used to establish light and lens fall off]
Equalight software [is used to determine every pixel exposure and then applies that math to the file of your painting copy and the Macbeth color chart]
Equal light color chart.
A profile making software

Crossed polarization does work, however, the camera filter needs to be backed off slightly, and the camera profile needs to be made at the polarizer setting.

Sometimes I layered a non cross polarized image with the crossed polarized image. Then I erased away and kept the good parts. This is for experts.

If your pro photographer is worth his/her salt, they will do the job over for free or at a reduced rate. They will work until they get it right.

They need to be able to print samples on the premises with you sitting beside them.

Good luck.
__________________
Adamphotoman aka Grant
Atlantic Canada

BetterlightSuper6KHS, medium and large format lenses, Sinar hybrid 4x5 cameras[17lenses], D800,16fish,14-24,17-35,28shift,35-70,45,60micro,70-210, 85tilt,105micro,135DF,200micro,ipf8300 printer Watercolour,softpastel,acrylic,airbrush,oil stick expert art reprography,finishing Giclée,stretching canvas,collects kolinsky watercolour brushes

Last edited by Adamphotoman : 12-16-2018 at 03:18 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-16-2018, 05:41 PM
Adamphotoman's Avatar
Adamphotoman Adamphotoman is offline
Senior Member
Atlantic Canada
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 375
 
Hails from Canada
Re: Best pro techniques for photographing oil paintings

Backin the day with 8x10 E6 film, crossed polarizing was an art all onto itself.
Contrast was boosted, so dark tonnes went almost black. X polarizing added a green colour cast. To combat this magenta filters were used. One had to overexpose and under develop the film in the 1st developer to flatten the image.

Today making an "In Camera Profile" can take care of both the contrast boost and any colour cast.

But it needs to be done.
__________________
Adamphotoman aka Grant
Atlantic Canada

BetterlightSuper6KHS, medium and large format lenses, Sinar hybrid 4x5 cameras[17lenses], D800,16fish,14-24,17-35,28shift,35-70,45,60micro,70-210, 85tilt,105micro,135DF,200micro,ipf8300 printer Watercolour,softpastel,acrylic,airbrush,oil stick expert art reprography,finishing Giclée,stretching canvas,collects kolinsky watercolour brushes
Reply With Quote
  #7   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-15-2020, 01:33 AM
robert19 robert19 is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 3
 
Re: Best pro techniques for photographing oil paintings

Thank you so much for your lovely ideas. I really appreciate this
__________________
Graphic Designer at Clipping Solutions
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:30 AM.


© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.