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Old 06-15-2005, 11:17 PM
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Paulinwa Paulinwa is offline
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Taking digital pictures of paintings?

I sure could use some advice on taking digital pictures of a painting to use with posting on our forums. I "thought" I knew a little about photography untill I made my first post. Wow, the post image is not even close to what the painting is like.
Any advice for a newbie poster...
Thanks
Paul
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Old 06-16-2005, 01:25 AM
Laura Shelley Laura Shelley is offline
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Re: Taking digital pictures of paintings?

My main problem is getting the picture straight! But many sins can be fixed in Photoshop.

I shoot outdoors during the day to avoid color bias from artificial lighting. Fluorescents will give you a horrible bluish cast, and incandescents will make everything yellow. Putting your painting in the shade avoids washing it out in bright sunlight. Overcast days are very good to shoot on. I have a camera that allows me to select the white balance, which is basically a custom color cast to cancel out the effects of artificial lighting, but I still get the best results in natural light.

You can either use a tripod or just brace the camera on something like a chair. Pay attention to lining up the shot--look at the edges of the paper rather than at the painting itself. Take several shots; I always manage to blur some of mine, so I need a bunch to make sure I have at least one in focus!

If you have a good image-editing program, you can correct bad color casts and wonky angles to some extent, but if you're not an expert, you may have to experiment! I know that not everyone deals with Photoshop because it's so expensive, but it's the best one out there. It would probably take a whole article to explain how to fix a color cast, but I don't know if anyone has written one for WC yet.

Laura
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Old 06-16-2005, 01:48 AM
artist_pw artist_pw is offline
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Re: Taking digital pictures of paintings?

Hi:

I do the digital pictures. I got the Pastel Journals since they began, and they had many articles in them about taking general pictures, and eventually, encompassed them into the small guide for making it into juried shows. I got 2 250 watt tungsten lights and fixtures as recommended in the article, and when you take your picture, you place these 2 lights at about 45degree angles from the surface of the image - place them sort of like an inverted v pointing to the image surface about in the middle of the image. I got the lights from BP Photo. I also got a digital camera tripod, and that helps to get the image straight. Usually, I have to tweak the digital image a little to get it to look correct to me, because it seems to be a little too much of one color. I try to use a middle value drawing board, and have some white showing, so I can use that to get the color corrected. I've thought about getting some pantone colors chips in case to help with that too.

I use the photo editing software the camera came with, and it does a pretty good job - ArcSoft PhotoStudio for Canon, and also Corel Photo Paint a little too. Anyway, hope this helps.
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Old 06-16-2005, 12:15 PM
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K Taylor-Green K Taylor-Green is offline
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Re: Taking digital pictures of paintings?

For anyone who doesn't have Photoshop, and who doesn't like the photo editing program that comes with your brand of digital camera, there is a wonderful free download called
IrfanView that works wonderfully. Just go to www.irfanview.com and follow the instructions.
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Old 06-16-2005, 01:28 PM
dcorc dcorc is offline
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Re: Taking digital pictures of paintings?

Here's a checklist of basics I posted in the Oils forum:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...18&postcount=4

Any help?

Dave
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Old 06-16-2005, 02:50 PM
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Re: Taking digital pictures of paintings?

Hi,

you can also try this site :

http://www.betterphoto.com

Regards,

José
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Old 06-16-2005, 02:58 PM
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Becky Foster Becky Foster is offline
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Re: Taking digital pictures of paintings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by artist_pw
Hi:

I do the digital pictures. I got the Pastel Journals since they began, and they had many articles in them about taking general pictures, and eventually, encompassed them into the small guide for making it into juried shows. I got 2 250 watt tungsten lights and fixtures as recommended in the article, and when you take your picture, you place these 2 lights at about 45degree angles from the surface of the image - place them sort of like an inverted v pointing to the image surface about in the middle of the image. I got the lights from BP Photo. I also got a digital camera tripod, and that helps to get the image straight. Usually, I have to tweak the digital image a little to get it to look correct to me, because it seems to be a little too much of one color. I try to use a middle value drawing board, and have some white showing, so I can use that to get the color corrected. I've thought about getting some pantone colors chips in case to help with that too.

I used this same amazingly helpful Pastel Journal article to learn how to take tungsten slide film too! But I've found that with the digital everything turns sepia unless I turn the photoflood lights away from the painting, til there's no direct light hitting the painting - I take the shot without the flash and it's still light enough. For some reason this is the most accurate way I can take a digital shot of my oil pastel work - it might be different for other mediums but I just can't get a good, accurate shot outdoors.

-BeckyT
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Old 06-30-2005, 03:10 PM
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scall0way scall0way is offline
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Re: Taking digital pictures of paintings?

I use Picasa2 for most photo editing, a free program available from Google. It's probably the coolest free program I've ever gotten, and rarely a day goes by that I don't use it. My son talked me into trying it, and I'm glad he did, LOL. See:
http://picasa.google.com/index.html
for more info. It's great for correcting color values, and will straighten crooked images as well, and is good for keeping track of your pictures also.

Debbie C.
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Old 06-30-2005, 05:21 PM
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Re: Taking digital pictures of paintings?

I use Picasa2 alot too. It has some neat features that my other photo software doesn't have. Sometimes I haven't figured out a way to correct some things. When I get all the other colors right sometimes the purples stand out too much.
Tammy
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Old 06-30-2005, 05:45 PM
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HarvestMoon HarvestMoon is offline
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Re: Taking digital pictures of paintings?

I use an old imageready, now a part of photoshop, to do editing.... but have a new digital, and despite years of pics with an old digital, have many problems to work out... by board on the easle is tilted too, and have windows on either side to get artificial readings on light...2 years ago I thought I was an expert at this, but times have changed!!
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Old 07-02-2005, 01:31 PM
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Re: Taking digital pictures of paintings?

If you have a fairly decent camera, then do what I do ... I simply use the camera's own flash, and then I get excellent results. I sometimes have to adjust SLIGHTLY in a photo editing programme, I tend to use Coreldraw photopaint because it has some nice easy features, but alsdo have had quite a lot of success with the simplest programme of all, Microsoft Photodraw, which was part of a package of programmes which came with my computer.

Sometimes, using daylight gives me LESS better results, so now I always use the flash, somehow or other the photoediting programmes seem to understand the colour better.

Jackie
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Old 07-02-2005, 01:54 PM
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LorraineG LorraineG is offline
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Re: Taking digital pictures of paintings?

Hi, I agree with Jackie.

I used to spend hours editing the photos because they never came out the same as the painting (always had a blueish tint). I used to take the photo with the painting by the window in natural daylight. Then one day I needed to take a photo to show a client and it was a dark rainy day and the flash on the camera came on. The photo of the painting came out great. Very much the same as the colours in the painting. So from then on I only ever use the flash.

Lorraine
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Old 07-02-2005, 03:11 PM
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Re: Taking digital pictures of paintings?

I think it depends alot on the camera. I've had two & I always have to do some adjustments. Also, you set it to look right on your monitor but all monitors are not the same. We've got 3 at our house & they all look different.
Tammy
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