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Old 03-01-2005, 10:23 AM   #11
Elizabeth Schott Elizabeth Schott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike McCarty
I think this is the Kodak camera you mention:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/kodakslrc/page2.asp
Sweet! Sharon is this your camera?
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Old 03-01-2005, 11:58 PM   #12
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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Quote:
Shoot at an Angle! (No Kidding.)

Don't laugh, but to avoid all glare, I shoot my paintings at an angle! This gives them terrible keystoning and perspective issues, but........

Don't worry, because this is not hard to fix and restore in Photoshop! This may not be for everyone, but it works for me. Virtually every 2D work I've posted was shot at an angle!

Just my two cents, Garth
Great idea! Do you then use the Photoshop Distort function to put the image back to its correct dimensions?
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Old 03-02-2005, 12:27 AM   #13
Garth Herrick Garth Herrick is offline
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Yes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele Rushworth
Great idea! Do you then use the Photoshop Distort function to put the image back to its correct dimensions?
Yes!
click (Here's how:) click

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Old 03-02-2005, 09:33 AM   #14
Tom Edgerton Tom Edgerton is offline
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I used to work in a lab, shooting artwork (including paintings) for the printing industry, with an 8x10 view camera, on both transparency and negative film.

For lighting, we used 4 tungsten photofloods with umbrellas. I've also done it with two. We didn't use polarizers, though I don't see why you couldn't, however I'd suspect it alters value relationships. I also don't see why you couldn't do it with strobes, though you'd need modeling lights to do what I describe here. And always use a tripod; don't try to do copy work holding the camera.

The key to eliminating the glare is to position the light farther out from the canvas and shallower than 45 degrees--the typical copy setup. Our lights were on a really shallow angle to the canvas, and very much out to the side, about 4-5 feet from the canvas. And instead of aiming the lights to the middle of the canvas, I'd aim them to the opposite edge, so the lights would cross in front of the canvas and mix in a softer, more even way. Meter the light with a hand-held meter at all corners, sides, and center of the canvas to make sure the light is even over the whole surface. A half-stop difference will show in the result, and your copy won't be evenly lit.

In addition to truing up the camera level and perpendicular with the wall to eliminate keystoning, here's another tip that I consider very important: Stand directly in front of the camera with the back of your head blocking the lens, in other words, position your eyes where the lens is (becoooome the caaaamera). You'll see whatever glare there is, and can tell which light it's coming from. Move the lights in or out--usually out--to get rid of the glare. You will detect way more glare than if you try to discern it through the viewfinder. If you move the lights, re-meter.

Some more tips: Try for a dark colored room, with no strong color on the walls; the color will reflect onto the painting. We shot in total darkness in a black-painted room. At least put a black cloth behind and around your painting as far out as you can; whatever is behind your painting will reflect into the lens--if it's a light color, it will "fog" and wash out your color--even with a lens hood. If you have windows or doors in the room you can't cover, shoot at night. Often, what we thought was glare from the floods was a door open down the hall, or light sneaking in from a window somewhere. And this may be more important than anything: bracket the copy with a half-stop exposure above and below what the meter says you should use. Don't try to do copy work with only one exposure. Film, or chip space, is CHEAP compared to the time you're spending.

For color fidelity, whenever we'd open a new box of film, we'd run a color test, and put color correction filters over the camera lens to bring the image to neutral color, then shoot the whole box with that filter pack. Some photographers test film before every photo session. But a lot of this has been eliminated with digital cameras and color correction in imaging programs like Photoshop.

You can eliminate keystoning with Garth's method in Photoshop, but I try not to, as I've found that even a one degree difference in the height to width ratio will distort my subjects' features. But sometimes it can't be helped, so thanks to Garth--it's still good to know how.

You may rebel at this discipline. Maybe it rubs against the "artistic temperament" (whatever THAT is). But being a little painstaking here will pay off.

Hope all of this helps--TE
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Old 03-02-2005, 10:07 AM   #15
Terri Ficenec Terri Ficenec is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Edgerton
. . . color on the walls; the color will reflect onto the painting. We shot in total darkness in a black-painted room. At least put a black cloth behind and around your painting as far out as you can; whatever is behind your painting will reflect into the lens--if it's a light color, it will "fog" and wash out your color. . . .
Thanks Tom!... Your whole post was very helpful, useful information. ...but that in particular have seen in my photos sometimes but didn't understand where it was coming from.
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Old 03-02-2005, 10:34 AM   #16
Garth Herrick Garth Herrick is offline
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Daguerreotypes

Thanks Tom,

Now you've got me thinking about the merits of painting my walls black. Your advice and experience is extremely helpful. After all, if one must have slides or traditional prints from negatives, there is no opportunity for a digital cheat like I have used.

Speaking of glare, the trickiest thing to photograph I have ever encountered is a Daguerreotype. This, as you probably know is the earliest form of photography (1839 to 1860), and is essentially a polished silver mirror that must be viewed against the darkest possible background. I came up with a black velvet funnel lens surround that reached all the way down, within an inch or so, to the daguerreotype plate, on the shooting stand. A thin slice of raking light, 5 or 10 degrees to the plate was more than adequate. Too much light, and the camera lens would be visible in the photograph, despite the long black velvet funnel!

Thanks again,

Garth
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Old 03-02-2005, 11:25 AM   #17
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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Tom, very informative. I have been shooting my own artwork for years and have been doing a very similar approach to what you describe here, except I use strobes with diffused umbrellas. I even do the standing in front of the lens technique. My walls are white however so I'll be going to the local fabric store and buying some black velvet. Never thought of that! Thanks.
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Old 03-02-2005, 01:11 PM   #18
Tom Edgerton Tom Edgerton is offline
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Marvin--

Velvet's good of course, but anything that kills the reflection from the wall will work, if money's tight. Even with a lens hood, there's junk in the air between the lens and the painting. As you know, down here in the South, it's WATER!
(I'll see you or your twin in DC...)

Everyone--

What, no lights???

I'm not sure about the suggestion of shooting in full sun--I'd bet it will glare on varnish. But hey, try anything.

I used to hang my paintings on a nail on the shadow side of an outside storage shed and shoot without lights. Meter over the surface of the painting as described to make sure the light is even. The only drawback is that plants, sky, etc. will reflect in additional colors. Maybe you can correct for this in Photoshop.

Bart Lindstrom used to open the garage door when the sun was on the other side of the house, so the door was in shadow, and set up his easel just inside the door and shoot with ambient daylight. He may still do it for all I know. It would eliminate the reflection of light from a wall behind the painting. Duck down to make sure you're not casting your own shadow on the painting. Also worth a try.

XXOO--TE
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Old 03-02-2005, 03:39 PM   #19
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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Beth,

Oh that it were! The Hughes comes first.
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Old 03-16-2005, 07:34 PM   #20
John Reidy John Reidy is offline
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Tom - regarding my post about using direct sun, I've done it successfully twice on varnished paintings and it worked great. However the last time I tried it I couldn't avoid the glare. I don't understand why it worked twice and failed so bad on the third attempt.

I use the technique of standing in front of the lense, too. It's a trick I learned as an art director on photoshoots.

I believe I will discontinue my outdoor technique and set up my lights per your suggestion.

Thanks for your post.

I do use black cotton velvet as a background as it helps frame the painting for slides (if I ever produce anything worthy of a slide I'll be ready).
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