All the hard work and unique
vision that we pour into our painting and drawing can result in artwork that we are proud of.
The next step is to make an accurate photographic record of our art to share
with friends, collectors, galleries and perhaps to enter into juried
The essential component to
that sharing process these days is the making of a professional-quality digital
recording of our art. We have two choices—pay a hefty fee to have a pro shoot
our work, or invest a small amount of money to purchase our own professional
equipment and learn how to make these photographic exposures ourselves. Ann and I have
done it both ways and believe that, in the long run, it is far more economical,
efficient, and fun to handle the photography ourselves.
This introduction will give
you the basics, but to learn what you need to know to get perfect results every
time, read the complete tutorial at The Artist's Road.
Regardless of which brands of
lights, stands and filters you use, it is essential that you purchase a camera
with a good-quality glass lens. Every image must first pass through a lens of
some kind, so it is far better to get a camera with good optics but perhaps
lower megapixels than the reverse! Buying a good used professional camera is a
smart way to do this.
shows the Impact Universal
Holder frame attached to my light stand,
along with a Tota-Light and heat shield.
the Lexan/polarizing film sandwich I
made to fit in the film holder frames. The
polarizing film can be purchased in various sizes
and cut to fit, if
||Note the Tiffen linear polarizing filter on the lens.
When the filter is rotated to
90-degrees from the
orientation of the films in front of the lights
(cross-polarization), the hot-spots and glare on
your art will magically
disappear, and the colors
will increase in saturation, depth, and fidelity.
This is why the circular polarizer often sold for
digital cameras won't work
You can really see the
difference that polarizing made in these two images of my oil painting, Another Night. On
the left, no polarizing, and a useless image. On the right you can see how
the spectral highlights (hot spots) vanished, leaving well-balanced, rich tones
without the heavy influence of the red-yellow tungsten light spectrum.
was needed was to crop the image and tweak it a little here and there in
Photoshop. We hope it's clear from this demo that a small investment in the
proper filters and lights pays big dividends in the results. With most
juried shows relying on the quality of our photographs to decide who will make
the first cut, it is imperative that artists get professional with their
photography. Without top-notch high-fidelity images to show, there is no way to
get a fair assessment of our work. And that is entry-fee money down the drain. So learn all about taking professional-quality photos
of your art. It is easy and fun, and all the info is at The Artist's Road.
--John & Ann