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Old 2nd of September 2010 (Thu)   #1
buurin
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Default Shooting artwork(paintings)

A friend wants me to shoot her paintings.

I believe they are on canvas and are not behind glass...

Any links to tips? I've googled and only found some pretty basic stuff.

I'm curious about ALL aspects.. lighting, lenses(focal length), setup, etc..

Thanks
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Old 2nd of September 2010 (Thu)   #2
Karl Johnston
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Default Re: Shooting artwork(paintings)

A lot of painters opt to have their work scanned rather than photographed.
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Old 2nd of September 2010 (Thu)   #3
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Default Re: Shooting artwork(paintings)

Quote:
Originally Posted by buurin View Post
A friend wants me to shoot her paintings.

I believe they are on canvas and are not behind glass...

Any links to tips? I've googled and only found some pretty basic stuff.

I'm curious about ALL aspects.. lighting, lenses(focal length), setup, etc..
You should use a lens that lets you stay several feet from the painting and that has very little pincushion or barrel distortion. Your 100mm lens should do just fine.

You will want to do some very serious color control. You need to make sure that your monitor is properly calibrated (using both hardware - a colorimeter - and software) before attempting such a project. You will need at least a known neutral reference card and, preferably something like a Color Checker card to get your images displaying the proper colors.

What is your background with lighting? What do you have for lighting modifiers?
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Old 2nd of September 2010 (Thu)   #4
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Default Re: Shooting artwork(paintings)

Ensure you are shooting at 90 deg to the painting.

Yes it is possible to alter the shape in PP but it does reduce the quality - better to capture i t right first time.

As Skip has said, WB is critical so do a custom WB. Even correcting in RAW might not get a 100% accurate WB.

Lightingwise, try to make sure the lighting is as even as possible. If need be use a diffuser to reduce any bright spots.
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Old 2nd of September 2010 (Thu)   #5
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Default Re: Shooting artwork(paintings)

How to photograph your art.

Photographing my Artwork

How to Photograph Art

Copying old portraits
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Old 2nd of September 2010 (Thu)   #6
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Default Re: Shooting artwork(paintings)

1. Use a macro lens of 100mm or longer. That's a real macro lens, not just some lens that has "Macro" on it.

2. Mount the camera absolutely perpendicular to the subject both vertically and horizontally.

3. Distance the camera so that the subject almost but not quite fills the frame. Crop later.

4. Use two equidistant and identical diffuse light sources at 45 to the subject at its centerline.

5. Use custom white balance.
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Old 3rd of September 2010 (Fri)   #7
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Default Re: Shooting artwork(paintings)

Only use FF bodies to shoot artwork. It does the artist an injustice to use anything else.

1. Use FF
2. Use L glass
3. Shoot at 90 degrees (perpendicular to artwork)
4. Shoot sections/quadrants, then stick together for higher final resolution
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Old 3rd of September 2010 (Fri)   #8
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Default Re: Shooting artwork(paintings)

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Originally Posted by crobs808 View Post
Only use FF bodies to shoot artwork. It does the artist an injustice to use anything else.

1. Use FF
2. Use L glass
3. Shoot at 90 degrees (perpendicular to artwork)
4. Shoot sections/quadrants, then stick together for higher final resolution
Interesting feedback.. Do you really think there would be a discernable difference between my crop(30D) & prime(100f2) vs FF & L-glass?

I would think under such controlled circumstances the FF/L doesn't have much advantage.

If you were to shoot in quadrants how would you reliably move the camera around?
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Old 3rd of September 2010 (Fri)   #9
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Default Re: Shooting artwork(paintings)

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Originally Posted by buurin View Post
Interesting feedback.. Do you really think there would be a discernable difference between my crop(30D) & prime(100f2) vs FF & L-glass?
The recommendation of using a real 1:1 macro lens is good. Macro lenses are designed to be sharp from "edge to edge". I have the 100f2 and it is good, but a macro lens will out perform it.
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Old 3rd of September 2010 (Fri)   #10
buurin
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Default Re: Shooting artwork(paintings)

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Originally Posted by Fast Fredy View Post
The recommendation of using a real 1:1 macro lens is good. Macro lenses are designed to be sharp from "edge to edge". I have the 100f2 and it is good, but a macro lens will out perform it.
Ive heard macro lenses tend to not perform well (or at least optimally) outside of the close focus distances which they are designed for...

Ive never used a true dedicated macro lens so I have no idea.
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Old 3rd of September 2010 (Fri)   #11
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Default Re: Shooting artwork(paintings)

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Ive heard macro lenses tend to not perform well (or at least optimally) outside of the close focus distances which they are designed for...
Not true. Macros work supremely well out to infinity.

A true macro lens is a prime lens (there is no such thing as a zoom macro lens) that has a couple of things going for it that non-macro lenses lack: an extremely flat plane of focus; and a long focus ring travel.

A macro lens has an extremely flat plane of focus because one of its primary uses is as a copy lens. This, of course, makes it ideal for shooting artwork, which is essentially copying, where a sharp corner-to-corner focus is required.

A macro lens has a long focus ring travel because it is usually focused manually at distances where the depth of field is extremely shallow and focusing is critical. Again, this makes it ideal for shooting flat artwork, as the focus can easily be adjusted exactly on. Ideally, a split prism focus screen would be used.

Beware, however, of non-macro lenses labeled "Macro." This is purely a marketing ploy, and many lenses are so labeled. Many such lenses are truly optically atrocious.
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Old 4th of September 2010 (Sat)   #12
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Default Re: Shooting artwork(paintings)

Most "normal" lenses camera weren't designed to shoot two dimensional subjects like artwork, documents or brickwalls.. Normal lenses have too much of a fall off in resolution from edge to edge, corner to corner,, and in many cases curvature of field and barrel and/or pin cushion distortion.. Zoom lenses are worse.. This kind of photography is reserved for flat field lenses which are rare and very expensive.. The best option for artwork photography are macro lenses..
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Old 3rd of September 2010 (Fri)   #13
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Default Re: Shooting artwork(paintings)

The advice about shooting only with FF is just silly IMO.
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Old 17th of April 2012 (Tue)   #14
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Default Re: Shooting artwork(paintings)

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Originally Posted by itzcryptic View Post
The advice about shooting only with FF is just silly IMO.
Yea.... Shooting artwork with AK47 is way more fun
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Old 4th of September 2010 (Sat)   #15
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Default Re: Shooting artwork(paintings)

I'd suggest exposure bracketing your shots so you can have the opportunity to create hdr photos as well.
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