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How to take photos of paintings

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  • How to take photos of paintings

    Afternoon all...

    Ive painted a portrait of my mates dog for her, however as its not finished i havent wanted to take it into work for comments on it, anyway what ive been doing is taking photos of it, but the photo never looks like the painting. by this i mean the ears look too short or the mouth looks strange, yet the painting itself these things look normal.

    any advice?



  • #2

    The camera never lies, goes the old saying.

    If you are photographing in artificial light (fixed or flash) then the camera will "see" different colours to our eyes as we automatically adjust the colours in our mind. This is due to different light temperatures, photographers know which filters to use to correct the colour balance back.

    The only thing I would advise is to photograph the painting outside in the shade on a bright sunny day and the camera will see what you are seeing.

    Once you have a good photo, then compare what the camera "sees" with what you see in real life. Do remember that your screen is probably not a true colour balance and your printer is also wrong. If have access to a true colour balance and black and white balance strips, they will help make the necessary adjustments to correct them.

    If the errors you see still appear then you probably have the proportions slightly wrong in the painting as you are seeing what you want to see in your mind. To check this get someone to compare them for you and see what they say. Sometimes friends and relations will not give good clear comments as they tend to be diplomatic with their comments or over gushing as they cannot do what you have painted. I regularly have artists come to me for comments on their work as they have learnt my eye is critical of errors, but I always suggest the easiest way to correct it. I do not know how I do it, but being in the art trade for 33 years might have something to do with it.

    I hope this makes sense.



    • #3
      perfectly. much appriciated.



      • #4
        it might look better if you take a pic of it straight on, maybe hanging on a wall or propped on a shelf. taken from an angle with a wide lens can make things seem a little askew


        • #5
          I'd go for a straight on shot. Painting put against a neutral background with no flash on the camera


          • #6


            • #7
              Take a pic of it at a height that is similar to the height of the painting on the wall. Also, make sure that the wall is devoid of any other stuff, so the painting would stand out.
              "DIY is great because it makes you feel like a low ranking god." - Anonymous


              • #8

                thx for your helpful advices


                • #9
                  I have a friend who wanted to photograph her collection of paintings, she chose a nice day weather wise and took them outside one by one and photographed them full on ut with no shading.


                  • #10
                    I think the most importing aspect is the lighting, You want to avoid shadows.


                    • #11
                      Probably better to do a scan of the painting and translate it into electronic form. The photo will not be perfect.


                      • #12
                        yes. i think so


                        • #13
                          You guys always have cool themes for those who love taking photos!


                          • #14
                            I've never heard about taking photos in the shade on a bright sunny day.
                            Thanks for advice!


                            • #15
                              Great post! I've been looking for something like this for a long time, thank you!
                              Last edited by Fillip; 06-05-2020, 03:58 PM.