Rise Art

Photographing your Artwork

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott @ Rise Art on August 16, 2010

As artist, it is essential to keep a visual record of your body of work and a portfolio. You are going to need it, whether you wish to apply for schools, grants, residencies, a show or if you wish to show it to potential clients or galleries. You might also want to consider online presence. Next to a biography and an artist statement, you are going to need up-to-date images of your work, ready to share.

The best way to ensure that your artwork looks it best digitally is to have your original shot in a professional studio. Still, this isn’t always possible. Listed below are a few ways to ensure that your artwork looks its best whether you are shooting in in your studio or bedroom.

  1. Even though sunny days in England are few, try to take your work outside to photograph, as indirect, ambient light is generally better than flash photography. If you are indoors, try to soften any flash photography by filtering the camera flash. A coffee filter works wonders for diffusing light.
  2. Try to find a place where you can put your artwork almost perfectly upright. Shooting any work at an angle makes it different to capture the image properly and display the correct perspective. If unavoidable, try to set the angle of the camera at the identical angle of the artwork.
  3. Use a tripod, table, box, or any stable surface to ensure the shots you take are perfectly stable.
  4. Focus the camera on the center of the artwork. Try to zoom on so that your artwork takes up as much of the image as possible.
  5. To avoid your work taking on trapezoid shapes,  try to fill the viewfinder or LCD of your camera as much as possible and ensure that all the edges of your work are parallel with the edges of the viewfinder.
  6. Another problem often encountered, is the artwork ‘swelling up’ on the image. To avoid this, distance yourself a little more from the artwork and use the zoom of your camera. This way a more natural sense of depth is created, keeping the edges from bulging outward.
  7. Take several shoots of your work to ensure that there is at least one perfect shot!
  8. Finally, using image editing software, such as Adobe’s Photoshop crop the image, so the background is not visible anymore.

Do you have some advice on how to photograph artworks? What are the hacks that you have used to make your work look great online?


One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Chantal said, on August 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    my artwork is 3D so if its not an installation piece where the background in relevant I use a white sheet backdrop. I bought a cheap photography kit off ebay which has poles that you erect and hang the sheet over. To be honest you can get a similar effect just using a large sheet weighted down over a washing line – just watch the shadows. As long as you have the white background you can do all the editing you need in photoshop (although I recommend the much cheaper and very effective lightroom!).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: