2DArtists: Ten Tips on photographing your work prior to displaying it on the web



With the way the internet is now pervading our lives, we artists cannot ignore it as an effective gallery for our work! I'd like to give you some simple tips that will go a long way to ensuring you have decent photos of your work for use on the web. You will need a reasonable digital camera (3 megapixels or more), preferably with an optical zoom.

  1. Plan to photograph your work before it is framed. You reduce complications due to mounts, frames and reflections from glass.
  2. Photograph your pictures on a sunny day, but in the shade, aiming to get a broad even illumination. This is the best light to do your picture justice.
  3. Use a tripod to hold your camera, or support it against a firm surface to guarantee sharp pictures.
  4. Ensure the camera is perpendicular to the picture, i.e. vertically above it if the picture is on the floor or facing a picture square on if it is on a stand or leaning against the wall. This avoids distortions such as converging sides from one side of the photo to the other.
  5. You achieve a better picture perspective by placing the camera a bit further away from the picture and zooming in slightly, particularly with small all in one digital cameras. You avoid fish eye distortion this way.
  6. Fill as much of the photograph with the picture as possible for best quality.
  7. Use your digital camera at the highest resolution to get the maximum detail.
  8. Take several photos of each picture - to make sure at least one is perfect.
  9. Use a photo editing digital software to edit the contrast and saturation of the photo so that it matches the real artwork as closely as possible. Note: you will never get a perfect match in colour - that's why originals are, well, original!
  10. Save backup copies of your digitally edited photos and keep them separately.

By following these 10 tips on photographing your artwork you will avoid the common mistakes such as blur, distortion and reflection to achieve photos that more accurately reproduce your pictures.

Some 2D artwork will defy reproduction despite these tips - in this case do not despair and seek out a professional photographer to help you.

So go out and start photographing your artwork with more confidence!