Photographing art- a time consuming business!

Photographing art to create digital images is necessary for the promotion of artwork but it is time consuming.

When you do not have the best of facilities!

There is nothing worse than producing dull grey images like the one above!

Thankfully many mobile phones are now capable of producing well lit images. All I need to do is make sure I photograph my work on a suitable bright day.

The images produced in this way are suitable for viewing on a computer, but I now want to create good quality prints. Unfortunately the majority of camera phones do not produce images of a suitable quality.

The ideal option for me would be to scan all my images as I do possess a scanner that has a high resolution option. This for a long time was my preferred way of recording all my artwork. But in recent times this method can no longer be used as the scanner can only do up to A4. Everything I do now is much bigger. I have tried to source an A3 scanner but there is no suitable model that is within my price range.

Another option would be to go to a local print shop but experience so far suggests that most print shops only offer low resolution scans for documents and marketing leaflets. Businesses that do offer these services are too far away for me to consider using in the short term.

Therefore the only remaining option for me is to photograph my own artwork. That is OK as I do have access to a Nikon camera that can create medium sized prints. Ideally I would like at some point to create larger sized prints but I guess that will have to wait.

Going to a professional photographer would be an alternative option but the cost prohibits that for the time being.

In the meantime it is up to me to make sure each image is well lit and is as sharp as possible.

I can make use of my own kitchen as it is big enough and in the morning it has an even light. This can also be enhanced if need be with daylight lamps and reflectors.

Good sharp images are also possible as I do own a good tripod and I can eliminate the potential for camera shake further by makeing good use of the camera’s timer option.

Despite this, images can still look a bit grey. The grid below illustrates the problems.

The first image represents the grey dull image that a camera can produce. The second image shows what can happen if you over use the brightness and contrast controls and the third is better but not perfect!

To remedy this I do need to make better use of the light metering possibilities on the camera. This is a skill that I have yet to fully master but I will persevere!

Thankfully I can experiment by takeing lots of images and then just delete what is not required.

Once the best image is selected then only minor adjustments should be required on a computer.

I suppose you could compare tweaking the brightness and contrast on a computer with displaying a picture in a gallery. If the lighting is poor the artwork will not look at it’s best. However a few minor adjustments to the lighting can make the artwork really stand out!

Is this a good comparison.

I am not sure but in the short time I have a lot of experimenting to do.