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Photographing Artwork

Discussion in 'Open Bar!' started by J000seph, Jun 8, 2018.


  1. J000seph

    J000seph Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    Hi guys, I am not a photographer. I just want to be able to take a decent picture of my artwork. I understand that good cameras take good pictures. I don't own a fancy camera. I've tried scanning but it is too bright. Any recommendations for taking a good picture? It seems like my photos exaggerate the contrast in my paintings. This ruins the subtlety. I recently learned how to adjust the light exposure on my iPhone camera. That helps some. What are some other tips? Thanks
  2. DaveG

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    There is no substitute for good light. I used to work with a simple point and shoot Fuji purchased at Walmart. It took forever for me to understand that it would actually take decent pictures if I provided decent light to the subject. With that one, I found I needed to up the exposure compensation, which I am sure is the light exposure you reference on your phone. I have done some crazy things to get decent picts... I wait for a certain time of the morning, when the sky is mostly clear, and then place the work in a shadow cast by my car, with additional light reflecting off the white garage door :). The key was experimentation. If I took one photo, i took 5. Each with a little different setting - starting below what the camera said was a good exposure, and then above - so, it was like -2, -1, 0, +1,+2 on exposure compensation. Then, add more light! You may consider adding a few additional lights to your work area, if only for getting your photo's. Simple clamp on lights can be set up quickly, then put away when not in use.

    I now have a fair camera, a Nikon D3300 - but, more importantly, a decent lens... and I still need to add more light!
  3. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    If it will fit on the scanner just scan it, otherwise that whole morning light trick of daves sounds really familiar. moving around the house, the yard....up in the neighbors tree...anywhere lol
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  4. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    Definitely light like Dave said. I like to shoot RAW with custom white balance as well. But monitor also plays a role. I have to edit at work because the colours on the monitors here are better than the one at home. I now edit s that it looks good on my cell phone. So I do not know what other people see.
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  5. J000seph

    J000seph Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    I’ll have to see if my scanner has settings I can adjust, but my scans seem to exaggerate highlights, harshen contrast, and lose depth.
  6. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    Yeah, I have had some scanners that were pretty good at capturing the right amount of detail and contrast, and I have had some that were horrid. Even within the same brand. Most do offer some sort of adjustments prior to final scan.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
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  7. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    sounds like its set to scan documents.......
  8. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    If you happen to have an HP and HP easyscan installed, the photos and graphics preset seems to do a fair job. On mine anyhow
  9. Airbrush Dreams

    Airbrush Dreams Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Start with a daylight bulb some where around 5000k this gives a more natural light am then play with white panels to bounce the light off of so you use more indirect lighting. This way you have less of a hot spot. Then I adjust the exposure, contrast and and overall color cast and even saturation settings. I do my adjustments while holding my phone in front of the art so I can come as close as possible to the original. Download Adobe PhotoShop apps and use the for further adjustments. I also have a mid to high end Sony NEX 5N that does just as well, but my PC photo program quit working correctly and won’t open the images and just crashes. I need a new photo editor on my PC. Hope that helps.


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