Photographing flat artwork - oils

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by miltk, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. webestang64

    webestang64 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Here are the lights I use.
    Lowel Omni-Light 500 Watt Focus Flood Light O1-10 B&H Photo

    As far what kind of art I copy just about everything. Oils, acrylic, watercolor....etc. Some are bright, others subtle. The big advantage I have is here at work everything is calibrated to my Epson 9900 printer. So what I see on my monitor is very very close to what I print out. And all the lights in the lab for viewing prints are daylight balanced.
    I'll tell you though, paint soaks in so much light that some of the colors are very tricky to get right. I sometimes have to go into Photoshop and tweak certain colors as various paint pigments reflect differently than others or they will absorb more light than others.


     
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  2. miltk

    miltk TPF Noob!

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    would a diffuser on this omni light help?
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  3. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Greetings!

    Me again.

    How are you doing on that reading assignment?

    I understand you might not have purchased the book yet, but there are websites with that kind of information as well.

    As for diffuse lighting, have you seen a photo of a light tent yet? Look that up, and tell me what you think of it. I already told you what the light is like inside, but I would like to get your reaction when you see it.

    If you don't want to read the book, you might find the needed information here:

    Cambridge in Colour - Photography Tutorials & Learning Community
     
  4. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  5. webestang64

    webestang64 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    As Designer posted....yes.

    I use the polarizer version because I also copy old photos with heavy texture and "silvering " and those you have to use polarizing filters.
     
  6. miltk

    miltk TPF Noob!

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  7. miltk

    miltk TPF Noob!

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    haven't gotten the book yet. my friend a newbie photographer, says he has it, so i'll get it from him. i think a tent is not practical for me - i don't have the space for it. there's also the feasability of it as my painting range in sizes that may be impractical even though i see there are various sizes of tents.

    also, i hesitate because of the unique requirements of shooting my artwork, mainly will this setup guarantee no reflections from an oil painting setup, as i don't have the wherewithall to do it as a professional would.

    for the heck of it, i shot a painting without the totas, without the polarizers, just under my studio lighting which, as i mentioned, consistes of a bank of six 48" flourescents with a cri index of 92. my studio easel is bathed in even lighting, which i am guessing is similar to what a tent provides though not as all encompassing as a tent. there are no hard cast shadows - the lighting is pretty darn even.

    here's a close up. the values could be a tad punchier but otherwise everything is dead on. HOWEVER, you'll notice even in this pretty even lighting there are reflections, and frankly i don't know that a tent would eliminate this. oil paintings brush strokes have ridges and the ridges are glossy and oily

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I see that, thank you for the illustration. I think this is where your polarizer will help. Perhaps not all of the specular highlights would be eliminated, but maybe a lot of them. No technique will guarantee no glare, you just have to minimize it.

    I think the usual position for the polarizer is on the front of the lens. I don't think you would place them on the lights. It seems to me that more than one polarizer would create an issue of the two or more polarized lights fighting each other.

    Another thing; since you are using fluorescent lighting, you should pay attention to your white balance and shutter speed on the camera. Shutter speed needs to be slower than the flicker of the lights.

    I made a light tent using white nylon yardage purchased from a local sewing store. I bought flexible water tubing from the local building supply store, and made a frame like a quonset hut. The frame is not glued together, but simply braced into the shape and then the fabric placed over it.

    I put two lights on the outside and turned off all the room lights. When the lights flash, all of the fabric seems to be evenly lighted, which kills most of the shadows. I'll attach a photo of my setup.

    If you still get a few spots, then your editing software should be able to get them out.

    I did not completely eliminate all glare, but the owner was o.k. with the results. I'm including a shot of one the turnings which shows some glare. I did this project without any polarizer, and if I do it again, I will use a polarizer to see what effect it makes.

    IMG_1991 - Version 2.jpg

    WEZ 15011b - Version 2.jpg
     
  9. miltk

    miltk TPF Noob!

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    thx...didn't see this post
     
  10. webestang64

    webestang64 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    When using the polarized lights and lens you will have none of that.
     
  11. miltk

    miltk TPF Noob!

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    that is my current setup. i think i'm caught between two undesirable effects of using or not using polarizers
     
  12. webestang64

    webestang64 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yeah, it's tuff to get that light just right without the proper equipment. I do sometimes have trouble with a highly vanished painting. Sometimes I shoot for one half, then the other and merge them in PS.
     
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