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Old 01-03-2002, 11:39 PM   #1
Karin Wells Karin Wells is offline
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How I photograph a painting outdoors




Right now, I send my paintings to a pro to photograph as I don't have the time or inclination to fuss with it myself. However, here's how I used to (successfully) photograph my paintings out of doors (see blackboard below).

I'd nail some black non reflective cloth on the north side of the house, garage, barn, whatever.

Then I would hang the painting at eye level over the black cloth so that the cloth was blocking out the background. Having the painting hang vertically and the camera lens aimed dead center on it will eliminate any distortion.

I would stand in the shadow cast by the building (so that no sun would be directed at the camera lens) and photograph the painting using a tripod to avoid any blur. With the north light, there would be no glare. If the sky was slightly overcast, that would be OK too.

I hope this helps somebody.
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Old 12-04-2002, 05:09 PM   #2
Marta Prime Marta Prime is offline
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Karin,
You mentioned due to time restraints, you send your finished paintings out to be professionally photographed. Can you elaborate on that? Photo lab, or photographer, reasonably priced?

Mike,
You mentioned that you sent yours to a photo lab and got great results. I've called around different photo labs here in Las Vegas, and they say they only process negatives. I've been checking into scanning, but no one here has any scanners that big. One lab said he'd photograph the painting for like $100, then send that to be scanned. That defeats the purpose anyway.

Here is an article on scanning oversize paintings I found interesting. I may try it. http://www.artcafe.net/artcenter/digital/feat7s.htm
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Old 10-11-2002, 12:31 AM   #3
Brian McDaniel Brian McDaniel is offline
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Karin,

This is exactly the same way I was taught at the Art Institute many moons ago and it's always worked for me quite well.
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Old 12-04-2002, 08:22 PM   #4
Michael Fournier Michael Fournier is offline
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Yes Great advice.

Knowing that you also live in New England, Karin, I am sure you would agree that this is a technique much more pleasant to perform at a different time of year then now. It is was about 12
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Old 12-04-2002, 12:22 PM   #5
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Sampada,

That's a lovely self portrait. I would love to see a larger version.
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Old 12-04-2002, 05:53 PM   #6
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Hey Marta,

The lab I use (KC Color, for those in the Tulsa area) uses studio type lighting and takes a slide picture of the painting. From that slide I can go to any number of other processors and get prints for scanning on my own scanner or have them create an image on disk or CD.

Maybe we're just lucky. I do know of at least one more locally that will do the same thing. First slide $7.50 second $3.50, then the cost of prints.

Maybe you could call a studio photographer. Bring them some good low speed slide film. Kind of a professional courtesy thing. At the same time do a pitch about your portraits. It's always good to have a good studio photographer that you can call for different reasons.
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Old 12-04-2002, 02:41 AM   #7
Sampada Pathak Sampada Pathak is offline
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thumbs up Its great advice

It's great and simple advice, and a great simple method to explain the art of photography for my portraits.

Cheers,
Sampada Pathak
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Old 01-05-2003, 04:12 PM   #8
Timothy C. Tyler Timothy C. Tyler is offline
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Sunlight

Many of us shoot the work in direct sunlight-on an angle of about 30 degrees to the light source. Once you figure out how to avoid glare it provides great rich images.
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Old 01-05-2003, 09:08 PM   #9
Leslie Ficcaglia Leslie Ficcaglia is offline
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Tim, I agree. The only way I can get faithful color reproduction for my paintings is to shoot in sunlight. About ten in the morning or two in the afternoon seems to produce light at a good angle and intensity for me. I have a variety of locations around my place where I can shoot, depending on time of year and angle of the sun. During the winter when the angle is quite low and most of my tried and true locations have shadows, I haul the painting out to the dock and have my husband there making sure it doesn't fall into the water!

I once asked a professional to take a picture of a special painting and found that his color rendition wasn't nearly as good as mine. I don't think he had the proper setup. The one time I had a commercial "print" made from a painting and needed a 4x6 positive I took it to a special photographer who did have an excellent setup with appropriate lights. Those results were excellent but he charged $65 and his studio was almost an hour away from mine.
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Old 01-06-2003, 11:35 PM   #10
Timothy C. Tyler Timothy C. Tyler is offline
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Costs

Every painting I have shot by a pro averages $100.00 (4X5's plus some pro slides) these are very good but wow! not cheap.
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