Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Photographing Works of Art: Controlling the Light (3)

Author: Carl Shortt, Jr.
This is part three of Carl Shortt’s tips for artists taking good images of their own artwork.  See previous posts about the quality of light in Part 1 and Part 2 and suggestions for photographing two-dimensional work and three-dimensional work in Monday’s post. 

Post Processing
Most every photograph can be improved in post processing. This is really the reason we work in programs like Photoshop. It's not to just resize our images, but also to improve how they appear to others. After all, you want your image to accurately reflect how your art looks. That requires practice and is an acquired skill.

Here are some general rules to follow.
  Inspect all the images and discard any that are clearly unusable (due to camera shake, focus problems, etc.).
  Save the original image files "as is" and make any adjustments on copies, not on the original file.
  Adjust to correct color balance if necessary
  Do any rotation, keystone or similar adjustment next. (These changes may be objectionable in the finished work so saving an original image without these problems is all the more helpful.)
  Crop the image as desired.
  Adjust brightness and contrast as necessary.
  Enlarge and retouch as may be needed. (Remove dust flecks, blot out undesired areas, etc...)
  Remember…start the digital imaging process with the best possible image!

Resource material:  How to and supplies

google: “product photography” and “table top photography”

Shortt is leading the next Artist Survival Kit workshop, "Oh, Snap! Documenting Your Work in Photos," on February 5 at the Oklahoma City Community College Art Department. Prior to the workshop, time slots will be available for artists to sign up to have their work photographed. More details can be found

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