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The Golden Age of Russian Impressionism



Photography Basics


Art Tips | Photography Basics



It is much easier today with digital cameras, than it was a few years ago – also you will now need to submit to media and printers with digitized files. If you don’t have a digital camera… buy one. You can find one at a good price point – just make sure that you find one with a minimum of 10.0 megapixels.

Use a sturdy tripod with tilt and rotation and a cable release or self-timer to reduce risk of camera shake.

There are two preferred conditions to photograph your artwork (I should say three: the first being hire someone who is experienced)

Shoot indoors using with two 500-watt photo flood lamps (3200K) mounted in reflectors.

Shoot outdoors in indirect or ambient light. Look for a shaded place, set up your tripod and start shooting.

Once you review your pictures on your computer you will find which conditions work for you. BEWARE - it is preferable not to make any adjustments in software like Photoshop as the end result will be a “fixed up” image of your work and will not accurately reflect your artworks true color and contrast.


Fasten art to a flat, black background with double-stick tape, tacks or use a black mat. Place on the wall or on an easel. The art must be parallel to the camera lens, the center of the lens pointing at the center of the art. Most cameras have a “grid” setting to help you center and square off your picture in the view finder. Use this feature! If not make sure camera and art are level. Lamps should be 4-5 feet away from the art, behind the camera at 45 degree angle on each side and at the same height as the camera. Check to be sure there are no hot spots, shadows or shine reflecting off the art. (An artist on the Internet says he places plastic wrap over the painting so he can check for hot spots. He removes it before shooting his slides.) The room should be completely dark when you shoot. Cover the windows and turn out the lights. For textured work like collage try raking the light, using just one light from the side and adjusting the exposure accordingly.


Fill the viewfinder or LCD (digital) with the IMAGE ONLY, centered and absolutely square to the sides, top and bottom. Move the camera or zoom lens, not the art.


Focus carefully in the center of the art and use the timer setting to avoid blurring.


Group your artwork by size and shoot the same sizes in sequence, so you don't have to adjust the camera or easel so much. If your pieces are a standard size, place tape on the floor to mark the position of the camera, lights and easel or art stand and also the placement of the art. It will save you time when you shoot again


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