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Archive 2013 · Photographing Artwork
  
 
aFeinberg
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p.1 #1 · Photographing Artwork


Aloha all!

Going to be setting up a small studio to photograph artwork for giclée.

Was wondering what people's setups generally are and any advice one might have (other than dont do it b/c it's a huge pain in the ass:P).


Much thanks!!
aF



Jun 26, 2013 at 10:28 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #2 · Photographing Artwork


See: http://photo.nova.org/PhotographingPaintings/


Jun 26, 2013 at 11:18 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #3 · Photographing Artwork


I do this all the time and have been doing it for over thirty years. It's not hard but just takes a little discipline to do well.

This is one of the very few areas of digital photography where a light meter actually matters and let's you get your lights even across the area of the art. You'll be doing well if you can get within about 2/10ths of a stop across the art.

The general wisdom has always said to have two lights at a 45 degree angle to the art, on either side of the camera, but what you really want is NO MORE than a 45 deg. angle from the edge of the art that is closest to that light. That actually puts the light at less than 45 and more like 35. If you don't do this, you'll end up with unwanted reflection when you least expect.

If the artwork has any kind of reflection it's almost always a good idea to polarize both the lights and the camera lens, and even when you have non-reflective art, it's often a good idea, so that's should be on your shopping list.

I almost always (unless the piece is too big) shoot straight down on the art. Of course, I have a 12 foot Cambo camera stand with a three foot sidearm, but shooting down is by far the easiest way to make sure your camera is parallel to the art. I used to use a level, but now I use and iPhone app called Clinometer, which is faster and more accurate, always with you and only costs a couple of bucks.

Since I shoot with Canon, I'm also often using the 90mm TS-E lens and using the shift feature to stitch multiple shots together for larger files.



Jun 27, 2013 at 03:14 AM
hugowolf
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p.1 #4 · Photographing Artwork


Totally agree with Peter, but would add a couple of points:

If the lights are set up at less than 45º, then even works under glass can be reproduced without glare or the need for cross polarization, providing they are purely 2D. If they have heavy impasto, then it is more complicated

It is essential that the focal plane of the camera is parallel with the art work, otherwise you will spend far too much time in post and will also lose resolution. It is really worthwhile spending time to set up squaring the camera.

Brian A



Jun 27, 2013 at 04:05 AM
Beni
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p.1 #5 · Photographing Artwork


Keep in mind that polarization is going to make accurate colour reproduction very difficult, lesson we learnt trying to profile polarization in our repro studio.


Jun 27, 2013 at 11:23 AM
 

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cgardner
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p.1 #6 · Photographing Artwork


Media with raised surfaces like oils and acrylics create a range of angles relative to the lights and it can be difficult / impossible to totally eliminate specular reflections from the lights. Those reflections work in a positive way to reveal the 3D texture in a 2D reproduction, but for documentation purposes the can be eliminated with cross polarization or a PP workaround. Take two exposures shifting the lights enough to move the reflections then blend the two with masks; it's tedious but works.

The clipping warning in the camera works like a million zone spot metering. To determine if lighting is even across the surface just substitute a white surface, open lens 1/3 stop more than you want to shoot at and adjust lighting direction / intensity until all of it is clipping uniformly. Then close the lens back down 1/3 stop. Even when a meter is used to aid in setting the lights its a simple way to verify that the exposure is even.



Jun 27, 2013 at 11:54 AM
aFeinberg
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p.1 #7 · Photographing Artwork


Awesome info guys. Really appreciate it.


One last thing....what kind of light!?

Was thinking of making a custom light strip with track lights on either side (vertically) perhaps using a diffuser material to soften the light. Thoughts??

THANKS!
aF



Jun 28, 2013 at 11:07 PM
kdphotography
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p.1 #8 · Photographing Artwork


You'll want to select a studio lighting system that offers consistent color temperature from frame to frame. Artists can be very picky and having a high quality consistent light source makes it a lot easier in post to be more accurate in reproduction.


Jun 29, 2013 at 03:20 PM
aFeinberg
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p.1 #9 · Photographing Artwork


Yes...was looking for hot lights vs strobes.....


Jun 30, 2013 at 08:01 PM
plateaulight
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p.1 #10 · Photographing Artwork


Aaron,

There are some secrets and I will let you in on them.

1) You will see people debating hot lights vs strobes. Only Halogen/Tungsten lights have a CRI of 100 so you really have no other choice for good color as your starting point. FYI I get better results with regular halogen vs Solux when using the proper CC filter as the spectra is flat linear .

2) Cross polarize them selectively as some hint specular reflection can work for impasto.

3) You must use the proper CC 80 series filter. If you don't the red shift and extra IR will cause a lack of DR, color blooming and inaccuracies. You do not want to be relying on the WB tool to make such large WP adjustments on truly color critical work.

4) Make a custom DNG profile with the hot lights, polarizers and CC filter for the final tweek.

I would go to the Betterlight website and read their info on mission critical artwork capture .

http://www.betterlight.com/downloads/whitePaper/wp_color_accurate_photo.pdf

Cheers

Robert
www.Robert-Park.com
www.ZionPhotoWorkshop.com



Aug 14, 2013 at 03:53 PM





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