From time to time we find the need or perhaps wish to make a copy of our artwork. This might arise in order to produce a catalogue or prepare for an exhibition. Insurance cover might also require this evidence. A good photograph could be the answer.
We can divide our objects into 2 classes:
1) 2 dimensional and
2) 3 dimensional
The 2 dimensional class includes, as an example, paintings and drawings.
Here we have an advantage since our photographic images are also 2 dimensional. However we are still left with a number of challenges.
The correct use of Light is again very important and perhaps this is an opportunity to review the appropriate article / BLOG by this name .
Ideally photographing outside in the shade is recommended unless 'studio conditions' are available.
Light from an open window is another option.
Inside lighting can cause difficulties as it is not considered ‘white light’ and as a result one might need to change the ‘white balance’ setting in the camera. Another issue to consider is the direction of the light and resulting shadows. This also is referred to later.
Fill-in flash is also an option but remember to watch the effective distance to your object. Experiment with 2 – 4 meters.
A flash cannot be used if your subject is framed under glass. The result would be an unpleasant reflection and obscure your subject.
Another point to remember is that in most museums flash photography is not allowed.
Yet another problem we encounter is that many of our subjects have their height to width ratio different to the 2:3 standard in our digital (and film) cameras. As a result we need to add some extra ‘space’ around our subject when composing and subsequently ‘crop’ our image file.
Another important point to watch is to ensure that the camera lens is 90 degrees in relationship to the object being photographed. This can be done either by photographing the subject from above or with the subject held on a vertical wall.
In both cases the use of a steady tripod is highly recommended and / or a reasonable shutter speed should be used to avoid the effect of handshake.
The 3 dimensional group includes sculptures and other varied art works.
Most of the above comments and suggestions also apply to this group.
In addition we need to include a sense of ‘depth of field’ to allow the viewer an idea of not only the height and width but also the depth of the object.
Here side lighting may help by creating a useful shadow(s). Also the addition of a small known object within the frame might be an option.
Finally watch your background! Make sure there are no distracting elements within your frame and aim for a neutral (gray) background.
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