I have had the distinct pleasure of photographing my art properly this past week.

My record is 40 Photos out of which 1 was ok.

Thank god for Digital!

I will probably post the images on Flickr soon if you want to take a look. I am very happy with most of them, if you zoom in you can see the texture of the canvas and the paint strokes. It feels very real.

The main problem I encountered with the Photography was the light. My previous photos of art were all taken inside and carefully positioned with the camera settings heavily modified. The results were ok but quite grainy close in. They also required no small amount of modification on my computer before they were ready. The issues with these photos were the darkness of the rooms and the specific light sources (such as overhead lights) a flash would create a horrible sheen (as would having the wrong lights on) but without lights or flash would make the images very grainy and quite dark.

My internship with a local artist taught me something about photographing art (although he mostly used water colors) and using Liam as a pack horse I took to the outside to position my works in the right light outside.

To an outsider this would have looked very funny as we chased the shadows and dappled light across the lawn and moved between the front yard and the back. We tried different angles and different light, with tripod and without.

The trick was to get an even, but not direct, light. Very light shadows when the sun was out were the best or the diffuse light that comes when the sun is behind clouds. Too many clouds turned the light blueish and that was wrong. Too much sun created a sheen.

Then of course the angle was a drama because I cant photochop perspective (or at least not well). So the angle had to be carefully created or my position had to be altered (making sure of course that neither i nor my tripod cast shadows!). What a mess! Anyway, I finally got all the photos I need along with some detail shots.

Why do I need this you may ask? Some are for portfolios, some are for entries and some are because I will be creating a proper website soonish and want a good collection.

I am looking forward to studying photography because it may help here, and with photographing subjects prior to painting. I just hope I don’t have to go back and do it all again!

3 thoughts on “Photography

  1. You need to get yourself a separate flash on a lead…

    On the camera body right next to the lens is about the second stupidest place to put a flash; it makes bad reflections (as you’ve found), red eyes, and strange and unnatural shadows. Unfortunately all the manufacturers do it, because it’s convenient to carry around…

    If you get a separate flash, you can illuminate the painting at the correct angle, and if necessary use sheets of paper to fill in from the other side. That way, you’ll get repeatable results – find the right arrangement once, and then just set it up the same the next time.

    (Your camera needs to have the appropriate connector for this; almost all film cameras do, but a lot of the digitals don’t.)

  2. PS – Dad says the alternative is to get a set of high-powered lights – a couple of 150W spotlights from Bunnings or something, reflected from a wall (or a sheet, or paper).

  3. Hey, thanks for those suggestions Jiri! I will give them a shot next time I am photographing my works. its a good excuse to pick up those spotlights from Bunnings, I’ve wanted some for ages 😛

    anything is better chasing the sunlight!

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