How to photograph your art


hi i’m tyler Selman from Saatchi online.com and today i’d like to talk to you about photographing artwork of course the first step is to create some art if your work is on canvas great but if it’s on loose paper or cardboard you’re going to want to match to something that can hang or lean on the wall choose location with bright soft lighting harsh direct lighting can cast shadows create reflections and shift the color of your artwork a large window can make for a great light source but an overcast day also makes for great shooting outdoors to get the best possible image quality out of your camera you’re going to want to set the ISO to 100 or 200 depending on the camera model use a microfiber cloth to clean any dirt or smudges off of your lens to make sure that your image is sharp it’s important that the camera doesn’t move while the photo is being exposed the best way to do this is to use a tripod if you don’t have one you can use a flat level surface when you prop up your work to be photographed it’s important that it’s parallel with the lens of the camera if the art does need to be on a slant to stand up you’ll need to tilt your camera to match the angle if you’re photographing an installation or a sculpture use a clean simple background it’s best if your work is the only object in the photograph leave only a small amount of space around the edges of your canvas in the frame this will maximize the resolution you’re getting out of your camera position your camera horizontally or vertically to match the angle of the canvas it’s important to make sure that your flash is turned off we’re using this beautiful window light and a flash would overpower it look to your camera manual if you’re not sure how to do this another thing about light is that it can have a lot of different tones that your eye adjusts for easily but a camera has trouble dealing with the way that a camera compensates for this is using white balance the goal is to adjust the white in your image to match the white that your eye see if the auto white balance in your camera is tinting orange or blue try using a preset for your lighting environment which in our case is daylight if you’re indoors make sure to turn the lights off in your room they have their own color and won’t mix well with your window light now we’re ready to take a photo it’s helpful to use the self-timer to keep your camera perfectly still this creates a delay between when you press the shutter and the image is taken if you want the best possible quality out of your camera it’s a good idea to zoom in a little lenses aren’t at their sharpest when they’re zoomed all the way out or we’re in so you’ll get the best results somewhere in between another good idea is to set your aperture to f/8 but make sure it’s on a tripod after taking your first image there’s a few things you’re going to want to look for if your image is too dark or too bright use the exposure compensation feature in your camera to correct it the color and exposure and your image should be as close as possible to the original artwork you can make adjustments in your computer later but you always risk damaging the image file finally make sure your image is in focus if it looks soft or blurry it’s likely that the autofocus made a mistake or that the camera moved while the photo is being taken take several shots of your art even if you think you got it right the first time you may notice things that you didn’t notice on the back of your camera when you put it on your computer screen don’t start packing up your gear until you’ve reviewed your photos on the computer you may notice the problem you couldn’t see in your camera and you may need to retake the photos there’s a lot of applications out there for processing your images if you’re using Windows Picasa is a great free option or iPhoto if you’re on a Mac download the files to your hard drive and choose the best image and open it up use the cropping tool so that you only see the piece itself and make sure to double check for any visible borders around the edges zoom into the image at 100% and carefully look it over checking for anything that wasn’t there in your original artwork use the retouch tool to remove any problem areas sometimes boosting the contrast slightly can help your art look more true to life but be really careful not to overdo it because a great image can be ruined quickly by too much editing save the image to your hard drive is a jpg and be sure to leave the compression at maximum quality your art is ready to be uploaded to Saatchi online.com thanks for watching [Music]

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