How to photograph your painting at home

First step for successful sale of paintings over the Internet is to make a quality photo. Why would you need a good photo of your picture? The answer is simple - the better quality photo the potential buyer sees, the less doubts and questions he has about how the painting looks like in real life. Ask yourself a question and try to answer it honestly: would you buy this painting of yours when all you could see is that photo?
Of course the best solution would be to call the professional photographer with quality equipment. But you don’t have this opportunity, don’t worry, even the simple digital camera would do (not the mobile phone camera, though). We’ll try to give you some advice on how to make a photo of a painting at home.

How to make a good photo of your painting?

  • It’s not even to be mentioned that you should switch off date and time display. Big red or white digits on the surface of your painting would not make it look any prettier.
  • It’s better to take a painting out of frame, as it may cast some additional shadows into the picture.
  • The main enemy of your photo is a blurred, unsharp image, when the texture of painting as well as small details are often lost. This is the result of your hands trembling. To protect your photo from these effects you should use a stand. Any photo or video stand would do. If you don’t have a stand, please do buy it! It costs rather cheap and with the help of it you can make a pretty good photo even with the simplest digital camera.
  • It’s better to push an auto-shutter, this will help to avoid camera shaking.
  • You should put the painting on something steady and do not support it with your hands, otherwise the whole idea of a stand gets lost and your image will come out blurred and unsharp.
  • Lighting is the most important condition for a good photo. Don’t use direct flash, as it makes bright reflections. If you don’t have professional lights, you may actually get the best result by photographing your painting out in the sun, as common indoor lamps would be insufficient. So you should take your painting outdoors or at the balcony. Ideal time for your photo would be the daylight and ideal weather - cloudy skies. The light should hit the painting from aside! If your painting is large, it could get illuminated unevenly. But you can correct this by installing a big white sheet of paper at the side which lacks the lighting.
  • Avoid shades from other objects that might fall on your painting.
  • Another killer of your photo is that round, tubby, barrel-shaped lines of the picture. This is the result of photographing from too close a distance. To avoid this step backwards and use a Zoom, but don’t go too far with that.
  • Sometimes painting on the photo looks like a trapezoid. This is the result of incorrect disposition of your camera towards the painting. The camera should be aimed exactly at the centre of the painting, and the camera and the painting should be on the exact same parallel planes. If your painting still doesn’t look right-angled on the photo, don’t get upset - you can easily correct this in Photoshop.
  • Also, if anything extra gets into your image, you can cut it off in any graphic editor (Photoshop, ACDSee, etc.)
  • Don’t try to make a big size photo as it’s longer to send and upload to the Internet, so it will be minimized in any case.

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