Photographing Artwork: The Importance of Lighting

Yesterday I got all my pieces from the summer show back, so I’ve been busy photographing them. I usually take around seven or eight photos and then open them up into Photoshop to fix them up and chose the best one.

With one of these pieces, I actually have versions taken under three different lighting conditions. The first was taken at the art school with my iphone, the other two at home by windows at opposite sides of the house with a Cannon digital camera. There’s a noted difference between the colors of all three versions.

I thought I’d share these to show how lighting is important in photographing art. It also serves as a good reminder that the version you see on your screen is not an exact copy of the original piece.

IMG_0661 <The iphone version. See how bright the colors are?

IMG_5225<Home photo 1. This one is much cooler in tone. Overall, I find it drab looking.

Self Portrait1<Home photo 2. This one was taken by a very sunny window, and the results are a bit better. It still doesn’t have the vibrancy of the first version, but the hair doesn’t look as grey either.

I’ve got to pick one of these for the portfolio. Right now I’m leaning towards the third photo. While I love the colors of the first, the iphone just doesn’t do as good a job on capturing texture.

Sometimes, when the photos align well, I may even stitch two or three together to create the final.


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