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Photographing my artwork

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Guest Guest_nicbrun77_*

I have never seemed to get the hang of photographing my art, oil paintings and charcoal sketches. I posted my first painting a couple days ago, but the photo I took looks like crap and really doesn't do my painting the justice it deserves! How in the world do I take a really good photo of my work? I realize that the photo is never as good as seeing it in person, but it seems like the photos of everyone else's work on this site and on artwanted.com are so professional looking. What am I doing wrong?

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From a former member, nicbrun77:

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I have never seemed to get the hang of photographing my art, oil paintings and charcoal sketches. I posted my first painting a couple days ago, but the photo I took looks like crap and really doesn't do my painting the justice it deserves! How in the world do I take a really good photo of my work? I realize that the photo is never as good as seeing it in person, but it seems like the photos of everyone else's work on this site and on artwanted.com are so professional looking. What am I doing wrong?

I can only say what works for me...

I have only tried pencil drawings and pastel paintings so far.

The pastels, I always photograph before framing behind glass. (In the case of an oil painting, I would photograph the thing before applying any vanish?)

I always take the photographs outdoors - in a bright spot but out of direct sunlight.

I make sure that the flash is turned off and I am not casting a shadow on the painting.

If there is enough, well-diffused light, I don't think you need a tripod - just try to hold the camera reasonably steady while you press the shutter.

The cameras that most people are using these days all have auto-focus...

If you are using auto-focus, usually you have to depress the shutter half way, keep it like that for a second or two, in order to allow the focusing mechanism to do its thing - and THEN press the shutter all the way.

Lastly, before taking the shot, I make sure that the camera is positioned exactly on the axis of the centre of the painting and not skewed at an angle.

Oh! And then you really need to use any simple photo editing software, just to crop your image before uploading. It also helps if you can reduce your image file size to about 350Kb or less so that it doesn't take forever to upload. (I use U-lead Photo Explorer - both for cropping and reducing the image size. Mine came with the camera - but I believe if you do a search on Google, you can down-load U-Lead Photo Explorer for free?)

'Hope this helps! :)

 

 

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It took years for me to learn some very basic stuff about photographing my art.

Todays point and shoot digital cameras are so much better, but be careful, there are some very special features that you really have got to have in order to shoot oil paintings. One feature that will allow you to get about 95% glare out of the print! Using a CPL filter, circular polarizing lens.

More info here on how to get the lens for your camera, or at least what to look for on the camera to see if you can even add it!

What features to look for in a digital camera

and more info on actually shooting the work.

Shooting your own work the easy way!

 

 

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