Photographing Artwork using a HDR technique?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by m0n3y, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. m0n3y

    m0n3y TPF Noob!

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    Normally I would get a professional photographer to photograph my artwork for use with publicity ect. But as I now have some decent gear, I thought I may as well do it myself. My only problem is I only have 1 flash, so I thought perhaps I could take 2 exposures, one flashed from the left and the other flashed from the right and then make a composite image of these and hopefully have a nice evenly exposed image of a painting. Does anyone think this will work or not work or should i get the pros in to do it and just get it done? The image will primarily be used for an invite type thing. in colour and around 14cm x 14cm. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Moglex

    Moglex TPF Noob!

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    I don't think you can make that work (although you might if you are sufficiently devious).

    Why not just mount your camera on a tripod and use available light? So long as it's even that should work a treat.

    There is no possibility of HDR with normal artwork, though, as the subject dynamic range would be below that which could be recorded normally.
     
  3. loopy

    loopy Brave little froggy...

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    I've never attempted HDR technique with photographing artwork. I've had good success with shooting artwork outside, on a cloudy day with a tripod. Try that, if you don't get the results you are seeking, then you can always go pro.
     
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My questions are (thinking from the point of view as a BUSINESS):

    a- How much time are you going to waste working on product shots?
    b- How much is your time worth?
    c- How much will a pro that will give you superior results faster cost?

    The rest... do the grade 2 math.

    If a+b are less than c, do it. if c is less than a+b... do that.

    As a fledgling pro photographer, I value my time as a photographer at a very reasonable $100/hour. If I am not making that as a pro, I don't do the job. In post processing, if I am not making $50/hour, I am not going to do the job. On anything material related, I demand a minimum 30% profit.

    In terms of using HDR for product shots, I think it is an incredible waste of time and resources. With the right lighting, one doesn't need HDR, which in this case is what the OP is implying that he cannot do. That just 'ain't ringin' mah bell. ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  5. m0n3y

    m0n3y TPF Noob!

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    Unfortunately I dont really live where there is a suitable location to photograph the artwork outside easily. and photographing artwork inside using natural light, from my previous experience, never really produces suitable results compared to using 2 flash. I dont mean a HDR photograph of a painting but rather using a similar process. I thought it might be a fun exercise, but if its not possible or would take hours of messing about to get a suitable result, I wouldn't bother with it.
     
  6. FitzTML

    FitzTML TPF Noob!

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    If this is a still object and a two dimensional painting you should not have to worry about strobes. A tripod and proper exposure settings give you results you are looking for. Using available lighting or even some borrowed table lamps will give you the light you need. This is of a paining so you may want to ensure proper white balance with a gray card.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Heck, place it near a window on a stand, use the diffused window light and place the camera on a tripod and use longer exposures. If the darn thing doesn't move, you do not even need any flashes... use longer exposures.
     
  8. Imaginis

    Imaginis TPF Noob!

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    I have some paint at home, yet I would never think of making paintings to promote my business, simply because it is not within my primary skill set. Now, if you compare your artwork photography with professional artwork photography, do you think your photographs would promote your artwork as well?

    If you still want to try it, use window light (no direct sunlight) or go outside on an overcast day.
     
  9. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    True, and it might be sucessful if you are good enough with Photoshop.

    You wouldn't, by any stretch of the imagination, be using anything related to HDR. You would be doing simple "compositing". Whether you can create the proper gradient mask to make the layers blend properly without any uneven brightness is the challenge.
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you can't produce a decent light when taking photos of a painting you are doing something wrong. Paintings don't move, tripods mean cameras don't move so shutter speed is no object. An incandescent lightbulb is a perfect blackbody radiator meaning that it will offer the most pure colour reproduction available, it's just a matter of accurately white balancing your photo with a greycard and I don't see how a lightbulb could possibly be any worse than a flash.

    As for the HDR, That's the wrong word. HDR or any HDR like techniques would produce horrid results.

    What you're after is image blending. Put both images into photoshop as separate layers, and then apply a mask to the top image filled with a gradient (white where you want it to fade in, black where you want it to fade out.
     

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