Photographing Fine Art
Creating photographs of fine art for archival purposes – and doing it well – it an art onto itself. Here are the steps that I use to create images that can go onto an artist’s website or be delivered as high resolution, large format prints.
Have the Right Equipment
I use high-megapixel professional Canon cameras and lenses. I set 2 strobes or flashes with soft boxes and grids or umbrellas at opposite sides of the artwork. I am careful to ensure that I am shooting 90 degrees to the artwork to eliminate distortion. And I only illuminate the artwork with light from the strobes to eliminate color casts from room lighting or the sun. I check color light temperature with white balance cards and use calibrated monitors when editing. I use a professional tripod to eliminate camera motion.
I also take photos while “tethered” to my laptop. This lets us view the photos on a big screen as we take them. Photos of paintings framed with museum quality glass are typically not a problem. If framed with regular glass, glare may be an issue. We may be able to adjust lighting angles, or the glass may need to be removed before photographing.
Use the Right Software
I use Capture One editing software which has one of the best raw editors on the market. (I shoot all my images in “Camera Raw.”) This yields the best image quality and color accuracy. I edit each photograph to eliminate background distractions and any distortion.
Delivering the Images
Photographs can be delivered as high-resolution JPEGS or TIFFs. You get unlimited use of the photos with no separate licensing fees. They can also be delivered as large prints made on my Canon Pro 1000 printer or delivered as art cards. I can also create photography books using platforms like Blurb to showcase your portfolio.