Best way to take photos of artwork?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dry3210, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. dry3210

    dry3210 TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone, I'm just looking for some advice on what to make this come out looking better.

    This is with the regular lens and an off the camera flash (that was on the camera at the time). I think this one I bounced it off the ceiling which I think is why it seems to get darker as it goes down.

    Anyway, any advice on how to get it to turn out better? Unfortunately the scanner I have stinks and most of the stuff is too large for it anyway

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You link isn't working, it has to link directly to a .jpg file.

    How critical is it that the colors are accurate?
    You can get nice soft light by bouncing the flash off walls or the ceiling, but it will pick of color from the surfaces it bounces off of.
    You could just use natural window light, or your ambient interior light, just try to make sure that it's even across the artwork. I'd suggest using a tripod so that you can maximize your sharpness and won't have to worry about the shutter speed. Also, if you're using a tripod, you might as well use an optimum aperture light F8 (rather than a wide open or very small aperture).
     
  3. dry3210

    dry3210 TPF Noob!

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    I think I fixed it to it'll show up...I'll add a direct link also.

    I can fix the color issue with custom white balance right (most of the ceilings in the house are white though so probably not an issue).

    I'll give this another go with a tripod and making sure its on F8 and see how it goes. Perhaps without a flash is going to be the best bet if I can get enough light in the room.
     
  4. dry3210

    dry3210 TPF Noob!

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    Ok I retook it at F8 (I'm curious to why F8 though?) and I used a tripod with a 2 second timer and the shoe flash on the camera. I think its much better but I still ran it through some filters and I'm still noticing a slight gradual change in the "whiteness" or lightness of the picture.

    Any other suggestions or comments?

    [​IMG]

    Full size: HHR
     
  5. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    The standard lighting for such copywork is two matched lights placed one on either side and exactly the same distance from the artwork. These lights should be at least twice as far away from the art as the diagonal length of the art. If you are going to attempt it with a single light, that light source (in your case the ceiling you bounced off of) needs to be 8-10 times as far away from the art as the art's diagonal measure. Placing the lights closer will result in the unevenness you are seeing.

    Its commonly stated that the lights should be at a 45 degree angle from the plane of the artwork but that is a somewhat inaccurate simplification. The angle varies with the angle of view (focal length relative to film/sensor size) of the lens used. The narrower the field of view of the lens (longer FL) the larger the angle can be, measured from the plane of the artwork. The wider the lens, the small the angle between the lights and the plane of the art.
     
  6. dry3210

    dry3210 TPF Noob!

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    Wow thats alot of info Dwig. Thanks
     
  7. dry3210

    dry3210 TPF Noob!

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    Oh I didn't bounce on the second version.

    I can't currently afford a second flash or the set up for it but would two just regular household lights with the same bulbs in them work?
     

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