6 pieces of advice
- Take the pictures in bright daylight and make sure to turn off the flash or adjust down the effect
- Use a tripod or a flat surface to to keep your camera from moving
- Adjust the ISO to 100 or 200 depending on the model of your camera
- Use a microfiber cloth to remove dirt from the lens
- Take multiple pictures from the same angle
- Use a photo-editing tool to crop and edit your pictures
Placement of the art
If you are photographing an installation or a sculpture, you need to use a simple background and make sure your work is the only object visible in the picture.
If your artwork is two dimensional, the placing does not have any significance as long as the art hangs/stands on a stable surface and is not impacted by bright light.
Adjusting your camera
To get the best quality out of your pictures you need to adjust the ISO value on your camera. You need to adjust it to its lowest setting. Usually, this is around 100-200 depending on the model of the camera. The ISO indicates how sensitive the camera lens is to light. The low ISO-value means that the camera will take a longer time to take the picture which is why it’s important to place your camera on a tripod.
Make sure that the lens is free of any dirt so your pictures will come out nice and clear.
It is important to turn off your flash or adjust the setting as low as possible so your picture won’t have noticeable shadows. If you have a larger camera and a blitz setup, we recommend that you buy a diffuser for the flash so you get a softer looking light.
Placement of the camera
To ensure that your pictures turn out sharp, it is important that the camera does not move when the pictures are taken. The best way to prevent sudden movement is to use a tripod. If you do not have a tripod, you can place the camera on an even surface. Try to keep the camera parallel with your piece for the photo. If the piece must lean against the wall to stand, you will have to tilt
the camera to match the angle. When you have adjusted the angle you can adjust the height of the tripod so that the picture is within the shot. Leave just a small amount of surface surrounding the edges of the frame: this will maximize the resolution on your camera.
Choose a place with “soft” natural lighting. “Hard” and direct lighting cause distinct shadows, reflections and color distortion on your art work. A large window with indirect access to sunlight is a good lighting source but if its a cloudy day you can take the picture outside for good lighting.
Another important subject regarding lighting is the color balance. With different sources of light, different tones of coloring may appear which can be hard for the camera to comprehend. The way the camera compensates for this is by adjusting
the white balance. The goal is to adjust the white in your picture to match the white your eye sees. If your camera has automatic white balancing try using one of the pre-adjusted settings on your camera such as “Fluorescent light”, “cloudy” or “daylight”. If you are inside taking the picture make sure to turn off any bright lights that will cause distortion and mix with a natural lighting source such as a window.
Now we are ready to take a picture
It helps to use a timer on the camera to avoid any shaking or disturbance while the picture is taken. The timer creates a delay between the push of the trigger and when the picture will be taken. If you want the best possible quality, it is a good idea to zoom in just a little bit. The lens is not entirely focused when it is zoomed out or in all the way. It is also a good idea to adjust your aperture width on F8, but this makes the camera more sensitive to movements so a tripod is necessary in this case. After taking you first picture, there are a few things you should be looking for. If your picture is too bright or too dark you can adjust your shutter time. If your camera is on its auto setting, you can adjust the exposure to be brighter, and the aforementioned parameters will be automatically adjusted. The color and
exposure in your picture need to be as close to the colors of the original artwork as possible. Often times you can adjust this on your computer afterwards, but it is always best to get as close to the desired result as possible before you begin any editing on your computer. Make sure that your picture is in focus. If it looks too soft or blurry there might have been an auto-focus glitch when taking the picture. Another possible cause is that your camera was exposed to disturbance when taking the picture. Take several pictures of your art even though the first one might have turned out just fine; you may discover things you did not see on the camera when it is put up on a computer screen. Do not pack away your gear before you have decided that the pictures are usable.
Use attractive angles
- Directly in front of the work
- Angles showing special details on the piece (brush strokes)
- Other creative angles
Editing the pictures
There are many programs that you can use to edit your pictures. Picasa is a great, free option and it can be used on both windows and mac computers. If you use a mac computer, iPhoto is also an ideal option.
You can get Picasa here: http://picasa.google.com/
Connect your camera to your computer and look through all of the pictures you took. Make sure that you pick the best pictures and save these in a folder on your computer. After this the pictures will automatically be transferred to Picasa.
Using the cropping tool make sure that the only thing you see in the pictures is the art itself. Glamour photos of the frame and background are nice, but the art is the most necessary part.
Sometimes it helps to slightly increase the contrast in the picture to make your work appear more realistic. Be careful not to overdo the editing. Save the picture on your hard drive as a .JPEG file and select the highest quality your computer can save it as.
The pictures of your art are now ready to be uploaded to Artboost, so head over to the site and click Create New Artwork on your user menu dropdown.