The Everyday Life of a Working Artist

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Monday, March 30, 2009

How Do You Photograph Your Artwork?

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Lift at Mammoth, Oil 8" x 10"
In my last post I made a reference to the fact that I was told that the pictures of my paintings on my website don't do justice to my actual paintings. So, I would like to ask all of you, "How do you take pictures of your artwork?". I just go outside in the bright sun, lay my art on the ground and take a photo from above. Then I sometimes adjust the brightness and color on my computer. Are there any great tricks to getting better pictures?
My youngest son was fortunate to spend Spring Break this past week in Mammoth so I did this painting as a gift for the family that hosted him for the week. Sadly my oldest son had to stay home and swim six hours a day so the rest of us stayed home with him to provide moral support!

17 comments:

Sally Shisler......... said...

This painting has so much energy! There seems to be a bit of Russian Impressionism in your work - love it!! I do my photos the very same way Leslie. It's tricky with the knife paintings because of the depth of the paint. In person this is fascinating. All the light and color reflecting off peaks and valleys adds another dimension to a painting. But as a photo - they can really end up looking bad. If there are any secrets, I need to know about them too! It's an ongoing struggle for me.

Laurel Daniel said...

What a wonderful gift!! That family will be so happy!

L.Holm said...

Beautiful painting and gift, Leslie. Swim 6 hours a day! Can't imagine that level of training. That's dedication! I've had the best success photographing in bright shade. If I shoot in direct sunlight, it warms the color temp too much. Others who paint heavy impasto may have more input.....

Christine's Arts said...

Hi Leslie,
Like L.Holm I take my photo's outside on overcast days mainly or in bright shade if it's a sunny day. Morning seems to be best.

Sandra Galda a Daily Painter said...

I just love the composition in this piece. YOur style is so unique! Love it.

Art with Liz said...

Thank you for visiting my blog Leslie and I really think that your paintings have such a life to them. I will visit again.

Go to http://rgarriott.blogspot.com/ who has fabulous advice on computer corrections.

Jala Pfaff said...

Bright shade (it's bright outside but the painting is not in the sun at all), propped up on a chair or whatnot to get it about eye level. E.g., a chair is against a wall, with the painting on it, painting is as close to perpendicular to the ground as possible. So that the painting is on the same "picture plane" as the camera, just a few feet in front of the camera. That would be easier to draw than to explain.

Karen Bruson said...

Leslie, Finally, huh? Anyway, I love this painting. The composition is so strong with dark of the chairlift in the lower left. Great work!

LSaeta said...

Sally, Liz (x2), Jala and Christine - thanks for the photo tips. I will let you know if that helps!
Karen, Laurel & Sandra - thanks. I like the composition. I might change the colors up a bit the next time around though!

David Larson Evans said...

Yes Jala has it right.

http://www.onpainting.wordpress.com said...

Nice piece. Did you do it on the chair behind them?

Jala Pfaff said...

I didn't explain it that well, though, perhaps. Think of it as if it were your friend leaning up against a wall and you wanted to take a pic of her face. Your painting is like her face: it should be a few feet in front of you at your eye level; you take the pic straight ahead in bright shade. Thus, the chair as a prop, or you can even hang it on a nail on an exterior wall of your house or fence or such.

Moses said...

Considering the size of the paintings you post I think the resolution is pretty good.I know it doesn't show the finer details but it seems to be enough for the general idea.Not much else you can do unless someone wants to purchase one of your paintings,buy a print,or finance an exhibition of your work for you. :)

Jala Pfaff said...

Remember too that NO painting ever looks as good on the monitor as in real life.

Marian Fortunati said...

You do what I do...
I would say that I think your paintings look great and if they are that much different in person I'd be absolutely knocked out!!

This ski lift and your boats are amazing as are all the paintings I've seen on your website. One of these days I'm going to see them in person!!

Tracey Mardon said...

Hi Leslie, I live in Edmonton so the light is different but still, it sounds like I use the same method. Our 17x24' back porch is lit from the north but has a full roof. I prop the painting against the house on a chair and always get a picture that rarely needs any correction. I was first told to lay it on the floor and take it from above but they are never as good. At -32C I tried using the same wall in my kitchen which has a big window but no dice. There was no comparison.

Jeffrey J. Boron said...

I often find that with heavy paint and brush work that when you are doing the fine tuning on the image in your photo program, you need to use the "sharpen" feature to get enough definition on the texture... =(;-))

Jeffrey

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