Taking great photos is an art. There’s so much adjusting that needs to be done when taking various types of subjects. From landscapes to print advertisements, portraits, and one of the most challenging and delicate, artworks.
When you’re taking photos of artwork, you have to respect the effort that the artist put into making every detail of the piece precise and beautiful. A ton of time, love, and energy was placed into a piece of art to make it perfect.
Because you’re taking photos of it, you must bring justice to the work of art. When others can’t see it in person, they’ll still feel as if they see the artwork in real life through your photographs. Thus, as a photographer, your goal should always be to highlight its beauty.
That said, here are some of the best tips for you to apply when taking photos of artworks:
- Take Away The Flash
No matter how brightly lit the indoor space where the artwork is, it’s still not going to be bright and well lit enough for you to give attention to detail. If you’ve been shooting indoors for birthday parties and other occasions, you’ll know that a lot of factors can distort the photo, such as the windows, the doors, the color of the walls, and even the brightness of the lights.
Here are tips and tricks for you to balance out the light on an indoor space without using the flash:
- Soften the light surrounding the piece of work. You can do this by setting white umbrellas around it. If you’re putting one on each side, space it out equally on each side of the artwork. This helps remove the shadows and the glare. When this is achieved, all the details are also snapped.
- If the piece of work is hanging on a wall, set your camera on a 24-105 zoom lens, zoomed in at about 60mm. Doing this eliminates lens distortion.
- Turn off ceiling lights, blinds, and drapes. Let your camera’s settings do its magic.
- Hang The Art Work
If the artwork you’re planning to photograph is framed, such as a diamond painting found in vizuarts.com, the best way for you to photograph it is to have it hanged. That way, you can quickly move around and adjust yourself to conform to the artwork itself.
For the best photos, it’s best to hang your work on a neutral wall, preferably white.
- Eliminate Glare From Reflective Surfaces
If the artwork is in a place where glass surfaces are abundant, this can show in a photograph. Whether the piece of work is on a gallery, at home, or in a museum, you will, one way or another, come across a piece of work nearby glass or enclosed in a glass. If you’re not careful, the glass can cause glares and reflections that’ll be seen in the photos.
Here are some tips for you to reduce the glare from reflective surfaces:
- Set up white umbrellas surrounding the artwork.
- Turn off the lights and close the blinds or curtains.
- Shoot using your camera’s speed lights.
With these tips, you can come up with crisp photos since the exposure is just right. This type of photo quality comes in really handy if you’re trying to sell your artwork or if the artist has commissioned you to take photos of their work so they can sell them.
- Adjust Your Camera Settings
All thanks to technology, it’s now easier to take photos of artwork by making adjustments in your camera’s settings.
Here are some best ways to adjust your camera settings suited for photographing artworks:
- Adjust the lens settings to make the artwork positioned at the center. This should be achieved, even when you’re shooting in a tight space.
The frame of your camera should be filled with the majority of the painting. Only a little space is left on the side for margins that you can easily crop out.
- The ISO setting of your camera is also essential for you to get crisp and bright photos of the artwork. You’ll want to highlight its beauty and not make it look dead and dull.
Remember the basic rule in ISO: the higher your setting, the more sensitive it is to light. If you want to keep the photo crisp, the perfect setting is at ISO 100.
- The aperture setting of the camera refers to how much light goes in through the lens. The higher the aperture, the lesser light passes through.
For artworks, the aperture is best at around f-8 and f-11.
- The speed setting should also be at four to five seconds. That way, you’re avoiding shaky images.
With technology, printing photos is also made even faster and more accessible. Even printers are getting handier. Hence, it’s faster and quicker for you to print out photos of your photographs, too. Bring justice in these print outs by following these camera adjustments.
When you’re taking photos of a piece of art, you want to bring it justice. It’s like you’re bringing it to life through your photos.
When your photos reach the hands of the art work’s artist, they shouldn’t feel disappointed. Every detail must be shown. Every beautiful edge must be highlighted. Your photograph should also feel like a piece of work itself. These tips will help you achieve just that.