Fine American and European Paintings
G. B. Tate & Sons Fine Art
How to take a Images of Paintings and other Artwork
Flash only creates glare and hot spots, especially on paintings... and doubly especially on artworks with glass over them. If you cannot see the artwork well, neither can we. If you cannot turn off the flash, cover it with your hand, tape or other material. Good digital cameras will automatically adjust to lighting condtions, even relatively new cell phone cameras.
Direct sunlight tends to wash out an artwork, similar to a flash.
3. Be sure the camera is STEADY...
Using a tripod is preferred, but without one, you can use a table, chair, rock or even a broomstick to help keep the camera from moving. Movement blurs the images and destroys detail.
4. Be sure your camera is in FOCUS...
As with keeping a camera steady, focus is a major issue for good images. Most digital cameras have an auto focus feature, so please use it. NOTE: be mindful that if you are taking images of artwork under glass, a camera will often focus on the glass, not the artwork. If you must, remove the art from the frame (and glass) and then take images. If your artwork is on paper, a scan might work even better.
5. Let the artwork FILL the viewfinder...
It does little good to send an image of a wall ten feet away with the painting hanging there. Get in close enough to see the whole artwork and little else.
6. Watch out for BACKLIGHT...
If you are taking an image with a bright window behind it, any camera will tend to adjust to the bright light, and the artwork will appear very dark and lose all its color and definition. Move the artwork away from bright backgrounds, and into a more protected area.
7. Move away from cast SHADOWS...
Do not allow shadows to fall across your artwork. They not only can be distracting, but they tend to alter the color and cause dead spots... just the opposite of glare from a flash.
8. If you use artificial light...
Do not aim lights directly at the art, but reflect it off the ceiling, for better and more even light coverage. Keep your eyes open and alert for glare from anbient light. Slight changes to the angle of the artwork to the camera may be all that's required to correct this issue. Regular incandescent light is OK, but such images always need some correction. We can deal with that.
9. Take CLOSE-UP images...
Good detail images are always helpful. Often, a closeup of the signature will be definitive for the value of an artwork. Be mindful of all the above tips to make your detail images as clear and focused as the overall images.
10. You can send us images as they COME OUT of the camera...
We have much experience with programs for making appropriate corrections to a digital image. If we have a decent image to start with, we can often make an image look exactly like your artwork. Certain aspects of images we cannot correct... like blurred images, out of focus (to some extent) and bright hot spots from a flash.
The images you send us represent your artwork. How well they appear will go a long way toward helping us to evaluate your art and ultimately, helping you. Please send your image to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your consideration.