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Old 12-17-2001, 08:34 AM   #1
Abdi R Malik Abdi R Malik is offline
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Admistrator's Note: This is part of a thread that is in the Painting section, but was moved here since it was going into another subject.
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Karin,

Lighting until now still my problem, especially for photographing my paintings. I have no light system at all. I have been planning to buy a compact light system at affordable price. I heard tungsten floodlight will do the job, but I don't know If you have some suggestions I will appreciate it and please refer to my thread on "photography, lighting & technique" section.

Neither did occur in photographing the clients. As you know, flash mounted camera doesn't match natural daylight. Sometimes I lost details because of very dark shadow.

One of the brilliant factor of the Old Masters, they never had a light system. But as if they had an advanced light system during that time.

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Abdi
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Old 12-17-2001, 11:55 AM   #2
Karin Wells Karin Wells is offline
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Everything I know about lighting is in my post:
http://forum.portraitartist.com/show...=1077#post1077

Sometimes I photograph my paintings in much the way that I photograph people. Sometimes I photograph my paintings outdoors in the shade. I never use a flash.

Of course the Old Masters did not have any lighting systems...but they had large studios with controlled light...something that most of us do not have. I guess it is a trade-off.
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Old 06-12-2002, 08:31 PM   #3
Chris Saper Chris Saper is offline
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Natural daylight conditions

When I photograph my paintings outdoors, a couple of guidelines have been helpful.

1. Match your Kelvin temperatures! Daylight film is calibrated to be most color accurate at about 10:00 am and 2:00 pm on a typical sunny day, so pick the time that you take the photos. If you are taking photos on a cloudy day, it is unrealistic to expect the colors to be recorded as accurately.

2. Angle the sunlight properly. Your canvas should be upright, and angled at 45 degrees to the direction of the sunlight to minimize glare and surface distortion.

3. Frame your painting accurately. Make sure that the edges of your canvas are squared within the viewfinder of your SLR camera. This is essential to avoid image distortion and bowing.

4. Bracket your exposures. Take a shot at the recommended setting , then one at a lesser f-stop and one at a greater f-stop. On automatic cameras, this is often termed +/- .

5. Include a Kodak color bar reference.

6. Pick your film. After hundreds of rolls of Kodak/Kodak Gold 'grabbing ' the reds, I have tried (on Tom Edgerton's suggestion) the Fuji NPC, which I have found to pick up color subtleties more effectively. See my comparative re-post (to be posted shortly ) under Unveilings.

That being said, you will never get the same quality of color consistently by shooting outdoors, as you will with Tungsten-controlled lighting (see next post).

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Old 06-12-2002, 09:05 PM   #4
Chris Saper Chris Saper is offline
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Indoor Tungsten lighting conditions

You will get the greatest consistency and color control in photographing your paintings under controlled Tungsten lighting conditions.

1. Set-up. Setting up indoor shots is neither expensive not difficult. You will need: two light standards, with reflectors (I got mine from B&H photo for less than $150); two Tungsten bulbs(500 watts, usually $7-10), a tripod for your camera; a cable release for your camera so you don't wiggle it by pushing the shutter release manually; and a dark (this means DARK) room.

2. Exact Kelvin degree matches. Tungsten film is calibrated to exactly 3200 degrees Kelvin, and so are Tungsten lightbulbs. Buy Tungsten slide film, or Portra 100T, or Fuji's NPC 160 for prints.

3. The tripod lets you get the lowest speed film possible which translates into the best resolution. The Kodak 64T slide film is very slow (you could never hold the camera steady enough without the tripod).

Use the same principles in angling your canvas so that it is exactly perpendicular to your camera. Place the lights equidistant from the canvas, at about 45 degrees, and each about half the distance as your camera is away from the canvas.

Likewise BRACKET your exposures, beinning with an f-stop of f-8. Use a color bar for reference when printing the image.

Shoot the whole roll. You should keep the Tungsten film in the refrigerator until use, and put the exposed roll back in if you're not going to take it to be processed right away.

My set-up is in my laundry room. I cut some black foamcore board to cover the window (velcro to keep it in place) and set a second piece of black foamcore on top of the washing machine. As there's a cabinet above, I have removed the handles and placed velcro here to to keep the board in a vertical position. You could easily do such a setup in a dark garage too, and you wouldn't need the boards.

There are some other fine tuning aspects you can employ, but these will work great, I took every 35mm slide for my book in the laundry room.

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Old 08-09-2002, 08:59 PM   #5
Michael Fournier Michael Fournier is offline
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Lighting paintings for photos

Chris,

Great advice. I would like to add a few things and that is the angle of the light from the canvas and the distance of the lights.

It is actually better to have the lights slightly less then 45 degrees from the canvas angle. It is very common that 45 degrees is used but many times I find that it is slightly better to have the lights at 35 degrees to avoid glare. Also place the lights about 6 feet away from the edge of the canvas. If the lights are too close you will get hot spots.
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