Flash for photographing oil on canvas?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Dagfinn, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. Dagfinn

    Dagfinn TPF Noob!

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    I'm doing a favour for a friend of mine who is a painter: I'm supposed to photograph a few of his oil paintings, not for large format reproduction, but for relatively small images to go in a catalogue. [Note: this is not a professional engagement.] Now, when shooting, sunlight will not be an option, and I know hot lights introduce unwanted colour (and, I guess, might cause harm to the artwork on account of the heat emitted), so my question is: are there any objections to using flash in this scenario? I'm thinking two strobes armed with shoot-through umbrellas, aimed at the canvas surface from 30-45 degrees from each side. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks!
     
  2. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do you actually have all of the equipment for this? Maybe a homemade bounce card or softbox will do the trick.
     
  3. Dagfinn

    Dagfinn TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I have the requisite equipment ...
     
  4. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    At those angles you may get some unwanted reflections on oil. Maybe setting up some white cards to bounce the light off or make a large lightbox from some white nylon material that is used for light windbreakers. The material is cheap and suitable frames can be made for 3/4 pvc pipe and fittings.
     
  5. Dagfinn

    Dagfinn TPF Noob!

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    Ok, hm. Don't you think shoot-throughs will suffice for diffusing the light?
     
  6. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    They'll work. I've shot through glass with umbrellas before, same concept.

    This depends on the lens you're using too. If you're using a longer lens 100mm+, you should be fine. If you're photographing this and your still getting some glare, just move the lights to a wider angle. You may not even need umbrellas.
     
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The modifier really doesn't matter in this situation. In fact, no modifiers may be the best solution. A shot like this is all about the angle of the light reflecting on the surface and the angle at which the lens captures light.

    The book "Light Science and Magic" has a really good explanation of all this.
     
  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    That's what I was going to recommend. It's the best photo book I've read in years.
     
  9. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    "Now 100% DC"? You move or is that refering to something else?

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/dcbaltimorestrobist/

    We're doing a meet in Baltimore if that's the case.
     

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