Monday, November 17, 2008

Techniques - Taking Photos of your Art


Ok...I don't know if this is a lesson learned or forgotten and then re-learned, but I know a lot of my fellow artists need to take great photos of their work and I want to share a tip I discovered while taking photographs a couple of weeks ago.

I often have pictures/drawings that are pretty monochromatic - like the drawing of James on the black board. On the left is a photo I took of that drawing by itself.

And then on the right there is a photo I took with another picture next to it - a picture on a white background.

The colors and depth in James' drawing really improved because the camera was reading a broader value range.

I Incorporated this discovery into taking the picture of the pastel portrait - setting a piece of black and a piece of white mat board next to the drawing - and the value range of the portrait was much better.

I like to take my photos in bright but indirect sunlight - you can see my son lining up his art with mine to take pictures (he works right next to me in the studio...so of course his work needs to be photographed, too!)http://krystyna81.blogspot.com/2008/08/artistrya-hereditary-talent_04.html




I hope this helps for anyone taking pictures of 2D art...try to give your camera a full range of value to read, and your pictures will improve!

21 comments:

studiovirgo said...

Thanks for sharing this! I always try to zoom in directly on the piece to capture it as large as possible, but I never considered that the value of other objects in the photo would affect how the camera captures color. I will definitely try this out!

lupe said...

Great idea, Thank you for sharing .
I take pictures of my art too and it can take so long to get it right.
I'm going to try this :)

woolies said...

I seriously am thinking about hiring a photographer to come to my house and give me lessons. My pics are the worst. And I've read everything.

Monique said...

Thanks so much for this tip... and I love that your son is sharing his work as well!

Stacey-Ann said...

Thanks for this tip which I will try. At the moment I just scan my paintings because when I photograph, even in broad daylight, the photos don't look right, too dark etc. Oddly, scanning seems to give a truer representation of my work. But as I said, I will try this and see!

krystyna81 said...

I know that taking good photos of art is so difficult - yet so vital to successful on-line selling! Thanks so much for all of your comments and tips! I have to try scanning, too!

Christina said...

Thank you for this post. I never thought about trying this out - but does make a lot of sense!

BTW - Your son working with you is just perfect!! I'm expecting my first right now and get a little emotional (happy!) at seeing/hearing of sweet children and I loved that your son works next to you! I hope the same for my little one and me someday soon :)

Thanks again! Have a great day!

Tina Steele Lindsey said...

Krystyna - how does that work pertaining to b/w? I put a dark background around this morning's charcoal sketch before I shot the photo, just in case I was getting what you were saying (ha) but does the technique you describe work the same for b/w, or only color?

krystyna81 said...

hi tina - I think it does...drawings on white can be SO hard to photograph - mine always turn out very blue. The only way to know for sure is to give it a try!

the only other color I would think to frame it with would be a medium grey. good luck!

Bridget said...

Your son is darling.

Thanks for the info. I've never heard of this tip. I'm going to try it myself. And I'll blog link this on my blog. I think lots of artists will find this useful.

janice said...

thanks for the tip! i think i'm like the 10th person to say this, but i can't wait to try it.

Lynn Cyr said...

Great idea - like all the others here, I will definitely need to give that a shot. Of all the stuff one needs to do in order to post artwork online, taking the actual photos is my LEAST favorite task!!! But this might change after trying this out... Thanks!!

Distressing Delilah said...

Thanks for a great post..love the info!

erinberry said...

Great tip, thank you!

lifewithellabella said...

Thank you so much for the tip!! I will definitely try this next time. I take pictures of clothing, so I guess it's 3-D art...but the value spectrum adjustment should still help!

Waterrose said...

I found your tip through 1000markets. I will try this when I take pictures again. How does this compare to adjusting the white balance?

deborah said...

congrats on being fp on etsy. had a great time going through your collection of work in your shop - particularly liked the abstracts. came by for a visit and will post your link on my site....
beautiful childern by the way!

aemcdraw said...

Great tip! I just saw your post on the Etsy blog and wanted to say thanks here. :)

krystyna81 said...

You are very welcome! Thank you for stopping by :)

Jen said...

Wow, what a great suggestion! Thanks for linking to this in the Storque post; it makes a tremendous difference.

Thank you!

Gwen said...

Thanks for the valuable information. I photograph all my own artwork and use Photoshop to finish. Now I plan to add a black and a white reference in the original photo. I'm expecting it will enhance the range of my camera and they can be edited out in the final shot. I can't wait to see how it will work. Thanks again.