Taking photographs of your work
- Use the best camera you can get your hands on, more or less.
- Use a tripod for the camera if you have one.
- Turn off your flash and use bright but diffused sunlight, the more light the better but not direct sunlight. If you wish to get the best results, professional photographers who photograph art use a pair of lights mounted at 45 degrees from the artwork (see image below). This is better than sunlight. And I’ve read you can use a pair of halogen worklights (available from Amazon) instead of strobes or off-camera flashes.
- If possible photograph the work unframed.
- Be sure to square the image in the viewfinder. This is where a tripod really helps.
- Fill the frame with the artwork image as much as possible. If you know you will be editing with photo software then this step is less important.
- Be sure to focus properly and it doesn’t hurt to bracket the exposure (take one or two photos with larger and smaller aperture [f stop] to give you images that are brighter and darker, sometimes this makes a difference and sometimes not.
- Edit the digital image with photo editing software. You want to have the artwork fill the image space. You also want to make sure the artwork is framed squarely and you want to check for color correction, contrast and brightness. This last step is tricky though. It’s better to get a good photograph in the first place then to try and fix it in editing.
Image via Larry N. Bloch