In CVA Art Blog

Here are some basic tips for photographing your artwork.

There is a wealth of information to be found on-line, tailored to your art medium and degree of image quality.

Every artist needs to keep visual records of their work—and whether you plan on selling your art right away or keeping it for years, you should always have up-to-date images ready to share. In this tutorial I’ll explain exactly how to take great photos of your artwork, and cover a few VERY basic steps in Photoshop that will get your images ready for print or uploading onto the internet. (And by the way, if you don’t have an online portfolio yet, check out I co-founded this website service to help artists get their art online quickly and easily.)

All right, lets get started. . .

  • After the paint is completely dry, take your painting or drawing outside on a sunny day. The natural outdoor light is much, MUCH better than anything indoors.
  • Find a wall, or any place really, where you can prop up your artwork so that it stands almost perfectly upright.
  • I’d suggest using a tripod with your digital camera to make sure that you’re taking perfectly steady shots. No tripod? Don’t sweat it, a box works just as well.
  • When you take the photo, remember to tilt the camera slightly down to match the angle that the artwork is leaning—this will help minimize distortion of the original image.
  • If it’s extremely bright, find somewhere that gives little shade, otherwise put the painting in direct sunlight.

Later on I’ve included a photograph which was taken on a really bright summer day in Idaho. I had to tone the sun’s intensity down just a bit so I placed my painting in a shadow. Normally this won’t be the case, however.

Many people have trouble with their artwork looking like it swelled up. That’s an issue with the camera lens, but it’s easily fixable.

The solution is to use the “zoom” on your camera, and then back farther away from your art. This will create a more natural amount of depth to the photo and keep those edges from bulging outward.

  • Be sure to fill the viewfinder of the camera as much as possible and then check to see that all the edges of your work are parallel with the edges of the viewfinder.
  • Both of those distortions come from the camera not being dead center to the artwork.
  • Take several pictures because it won’t always be as easy to tell on the viewfinder whether or not there’s any distortion. Once your images are up on your computer, you’ll be able to see for sure which photo is best.
  • When you’ve uploaded the photos to your computer, bring them up in Photoshop or whichever photo-editing software you use. Although the next few steps will be based in Photoshop, you’ll be able to find something similar in any photo-editing program.

+ Learn more …You can view  Dan’s original post from The Empty Easle here

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