Frequently asked Questions:

How to photograph his paintings

You have decided to place their pictures in the online store. To do this, the first thing you need to photograph them. When an artist gets to such a task, always tormented by the question to do it yourself or let a professional photographer. Definitely answer to this question is difficult.

With the development of digital photography photographic process more easier and cheaper. Photograph your picture to show to friends and posting on the Internet is now possible even from a mobile phone camera. But that's not all, where you can be useful photograph your paintings. Recently, the demand for the use of art in advertising and decoration printing is growing. The average price for the use of a single image in advertising printing, without the transfer of exclusive copyright, ranges from 50 to 300 dollars, and in some cases may be as high as several thousand. And get active development in Europe and America is the commercial area of ??the art market as posters and zhekle, also not a bad way to improve his financial situation. And sooner or later to fully unfold in our country. But for these purposes, an image made even good « soap » It will not be enough.

Is a professional camera artist need? The unequivocal answer to this question was given even the Impressionists. Many of them, in one way or another, in his work using innovative achievements in the field of photography and theory of color Chevrel. But they are not the first. It is known that in the 17th century prototype of the camera - the camera obscura used in his work the famous Venetian Antonio Canaletto. Also, a variety of optical devices used some Dutch - Carel Fabritius, Jan Vermeer, Samuel van Hoogstraten - and the Spaniard Velázquez. Someone used a photo only as an aid in the work, and Edgar Degas and achieved outstanding success in this field, and not inferior in skill professional photographers. For those who want to challenge the use of technology in the creation and calling for « clean » Art can also add a statement Monet: « matter created my cathedrals and views of London in the open air or not, it's nobody's business. I know many artists who have written on the nature and done terrible things » ;.

And if you still pondering over the question whether it is necessary to draw on the technical and scientific news, I think, indisputable authority of such prominent representatives of the world of art, as those listed above will help you make a choice.
The choice I made long time & ndash; shoot himself. The point here is not to save money. If you do decide to take pictures of yourself, for that you need to at least get a good camera, and it's not cheap.

I photograph myself for several reasons.

1.Neudobstvo. To your pictures photographed by a professional it is necessary to provide a sufficient amount of work. The photographer did not drag you to the expensive equipment and is not easy because of one picture or otherwise, the issue price will increase significantly. Or do you have to drag your pictures and also not one to a print shop. Both are very troublesome.

2. Rush. You rush order, the deadline barely have time, get a great picture, but the photographer an urgent survey could not agree. Masterpiece leave without leaving a trace of themselves.

3. An interesting hobby. This is the main reason. Always I had a passion for the art of photography and a strong desire to thoroughly understand the intricacies of the shooting process. Always use an image as an aid in the creation of his paintings. At a certain point I realized that for photographing paintings possess the necessary skills and the necessary equipment.

Now try to understand how difficult it is.

Most simple guidelines.

The most difficult for the shooting of reproduction are pictures painted pasty (stroke volume), and the painting covered with a glossy varnish, painted in dark colors. Glare on the smooth surface of the painting is not valid if it covers the image. In contrast, to emphasize the surround smear highlight it, and the shadow of his need. In each case, the light should be put individually, but as is usually the artist's brushwork is maintained long enough period, you will soon adjust to your shooting conditions.

Described recommendations are mainly focused on digital photography due to its greater prevalence, prospects and relative cheapness.

1. Do not use the built-in flash. Even when photographing a picture on the side, trying to avoid glare, and then correct the distortions in Phtoshop, the picture will be illuminated uniformly.

2. Use a tripod when taking pictures, not necessarily expensive, most importantly sustainable. This will make normal shots even in low light and achieve a good picture sharpness.

3. Ideally, the picture is better to shoot without a frame. The frame can cast shadows on the canvas and reflexes.

4. Use delay shutter, it is fairly standard 2 seconds. This will avoid the « lubrication » frame by pressing the shutter button. Usually portrayed this icon:

5. The easiest way to take pictures of a picture with minimal cost, to do it on the street in daylight. The ideal condition for this is the cloudy weather, when the sky is uniformly gray haze. (Petrograd and Londoners are lucky in this respect more) Under these conditions the ambient light does not provide strong reflections on the paint smears. Especially important for pasty and covered with gloss varnish painting.

6. Positioning the camera need so that the matrix or the rear wall is parallel to the plane picture plane, and the lens is exactly opposite the center of the picture. In this case, it is able to avoid geometric distortion in the picture frame and get rid of the additional subsequent file processing.

Side view

View from above

The appearance of a





7. Do not leave too much empty field around the picture. This will reduce the size of the final file.

8. Do not use the extreme positions of the ZOOM (Zoom In / Out), the image may appear distorted by the uneven performance camera lens. This is particularly evident in the extreme positions. Distance from the picture to the camera, it is desirable to select from 2 to 5 meters, depending on the picture size and the lens used.

9. If the surface of the canvas and glossy dark on it can affect all the light surrounding objects. This may be a bright clothes photographer (not because they are dressed in black) and silver tripod. As a result, you can get a picture of the painting with a lot of bright spots. To avoid this, you can hang in front of a picture of a black velvet drapery. The picture is taken because of the drapes or through a hole in it.

10. When using the light bulbs, it is desirable to activate the White Balance function (white balance). Different lamps have a different color temperature. In automatic mode, this function does not always correctly handle the correct display of colors. For this:

- Place a white sheet of paper as much as possible to the place to take pictures.
- Aim the camera lens at him, as much as possible by filling out the entire plane or viewfinder display.
- In the camera menu, select White Balance function, activate this feature and press the shutter release (for details on using this function, see the user manual for your camera).

11. When using artificial light sources, their distance from the painting should life is 3-4 times larger than the picture itself. Check the evenness of lighting, if necessary, can be a box of matches. If only two light sources, the set middle picture frames must discard two uniform shade, both in length and density.

12. Lamps placed at an angle of 45 degrees to the plane of the picture (although it is possible to experiment, ensuring the absence of glare and better illumination pattern). It is important to remember that the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection, and so the lamp should be placed so as to direct the reflected light from the picture did not get into the lens. Otherwise, the risk of getting a powerful flare.

13. Lighting should be uniform in color temperature. It is impossible to combine daylight and artificial lighting. When shooting with the help of lighting fixtures recommended to close the window drape.

14. For more high-quality and professional processing of the photographic material, it is desirable that the files captured the paintings were in the RAW format, the so-called « raw » ;, the raw data obtained from the matrix (if your camera supports this format). In the Internet enough articles describing the possibilities and advantages of this format. I recommend when choosing a camera to be guided by the fact that it supports the preservation of the captured frames in this format. Even if you have long been at odds with such subtleties processing photographic material, you can always turn to a professional.

Much easier is the case with reproducing graphics and watercolors, small format works, you can simply scan. Most household scanners provide very decent quality image, it is suitable for use in printing. To scan jobs larger format than the format scanner can scan a certain part of the work with their subsequent « gluing » in special programs. It is important that the scan fragments joints overlap. An example of such a program can serve as Panorama Maker 5. Previously used the third version of this software, an intuitive interface, there is an additional manual finishing glued edges. The possibility of « glue » tile.

Similarly, you can make the camera captured pasting fragments of the picture, the result can be achieved quite acceptable for printing. It is important when shooting panoramas that all fragments were shot with the same exposure, it is better to use aperture and shutter speed manual adjustment mode. You can automatically make metering, and then the resulting values set in manual mode.

Option budget equipment for shooting pictures in the workshop.

1. Camera. (The best and universal means of achieving the objectives listed above can become a SLR camera). Alternatively, you can recommend the Canon EOS 450D, Canon EOS 500D, Sony Alpha DSLR-A350, Sony Alpha DSLR-A380. Prices on these units range from 18 000 to 50 000 rubles. I think we can completely meet the sum of 20 000 & ndash; 25 000 rubles. If desired, you can purchase such equipment when traveling on vacation in Europe, taking advantage of Tax Free Shopping. Thus it is possible to save up to 20% of the value.

2. Tripods. At least one, preferably three. One for the camera, the other two for fixtures. As said above, you can use a completely Chinese. It is desirable to have a tripod for a camera head with 3 degrees of freedom. (Approximate price ranges from 700 to 3000 rubles.) A couple of tripods, lighting, tripods can replace for plein air, or other similar devices. Article & laquo; How to choose a tripod & raquo ;:

3. Fixtures. A minimum of 2 & ndash; ie pieces. As an option is acceptable halogen lamps with 500 or 1000 Wat. Price from 200 to 1000 rubles. a piece. There are commercially available in almost every hardware store, it is convenient to mount on a tripod. To soften and diffuse the light from these lamps can be used improvised softboxes and reflectors. As a variant of the reflector, you can use a sheet of paper stretched over the plate, and as « softbox » can approach a piece of tracing paper or synthetic silk on stretcher.


Probably, the best option may be fluorescent lamps. On sale there are many different options on the average from 600 to 2000 rubles. a piece.

Unlike galogenok provide more spectrum close to natural light, provided that the lamps themselves with the spectrum of cool daylight (Example T8 Osram L 36 W / 965 DE LUXE G13, 1200 mm, Lumilux). You can use the lamp on the 2nd and 4th lamps, lighting the main thing that was enough. Give more diffuse uniform light. But they have several drawbacks:

1. Attach a conventional tripod is not very convenient, so you'll have to buy a special or « to reinvent the wheel » ;.

2. Fluorescent (especially ordinary, office) has a subtle shimmer eye (power fluctuations), but because Mismatched exposure parameters, it is possible to obtain " striped " picture. On the likeness of that which we see when shooting a TV camera.

Total:on amateur photography equipment, not including the camera, it is possible to spend an average of 1 500 - 15 000 rubles. It limits how and perfection is no limit.

Despite all the above, I do not recommend to make a serious shot reproduction for high-quality printing publications to those who do not have enough experience. In this case, better to turn to a professional, at the same time can get expert lessons. These guidelines is better to use in the « emergency » a situation where a picture of an urgent need to give or for making a poster or canvas giclee by printing on a plotter. much lower than for printing When printing on canvas plotter file requirements.


1. When setting shooting functions, set the number of iso sensitivity matrix (similar to film speed) minimum possible on your camera (80 or 100). At the same time in the captured frame is at least " noise " ;.

2. If you do not use the light meter, when photographing paintings better enable program auto mode, indicated by the letter " P " ;. In this mode, auto exposure and advanced settings are available: white balance, sensitivity " iso" et al. (depends on the camera).

3. If the present system is an optical camera or a digital picture stabilization, when shooting with a tripod it is better off. Sometimes this can lead to a sharp picture no.

Thank you for assistance in preparing this article Ramil Gappasovu.

Special thanks for the help and advice professional photographer Valentin Overchenko.

18 December 2009 г Alexey Shalaev

Политика конфиденциальности