Thoughts on Photographing Artwork (Simply)

August 21, 2017

A number of years ago I wrote some articles for the publication Bound & Lettered. They published my articles and photographs but it was clear that they wanted higher resolution photos  as well as photos shot in the RAW format.I was not in a position to upgrade. I stopped submitting articles.

I formally studied photography in college for four semesters. Equipment has changed so much since then that I have to keep figuring things out.  Lighting has always been an issue. Today I went to Home Depot and spent $40.00 on lights and I’m pretty happy.  Here’s what I have found that works.

LED light bulb facts, 5000k

LED light bulb facts, 5000k

I’m convinced that LED lights are the way to go. The greatest thing about them is that they don’t get hot. The most important consideration is the LIGHT APPEARANCE number. Warm light is yellowish, and it’s what feels good for lighting our living rooms. Cool light tends towards blue, and is more like daylight but it feels harsh as indoor lighting. The cool light, though, is better for photos. You can see that I picked out the light bulbs with  a 5000 k rating. This is why I went to Home Depot. The grocery store and the hardware store just don’t carry these. I wouldn’t have found them at Home Depot if I hadn’t been helped.

Daylight, 5000K bulbs

Daylight, 5000K bulbs

I didn’t know which wattage equivalent would be good for me, so I bought both 100 W and a 60 W.  I tried them both out and it’s clear that the 100W  is what I need. I bought two different brands, just to see if they were any different. They both seem completely fine. The Ecosmart cost significantly less than the Cree ($15. 12 vs $20.97 for a four pack).

Clip-on Work Light

Clip-on Work Light

I’ve always liked using clip-on work lights for my lighting needs. Hardware stores carry them. They cost between $7 and $14. They last forever. I always use at least two of these. I rarely use more than two.

I’m not going to go into much more detail about photography. Just a couple more thoughts.  First, whenever I want really good photos I use a tripod. It’s such an annoyance to deal with a tripod, but the results are so much better than hand held.

My books with a 3D piece by Dan Anderson

My books with a 3D piece by Dan Anderson

Last tip:

I prefer, when I can, to avoid using Photoshop to do my photo editing,  It just takes too long, and generally I don’t need to use such powerful editing tools. Oh, and it is expensive and tough to learn. Fortunately there are many alternatives to Photoshop. I have a favorite, and you probably have it on your computer already.  Many people don’t know that Microsoft Office Suite comes with a great photo editing program. If you have Word, you probably have Microsoft Office Picture Manager. Go ahead, type this into your program search bar. It’s a really excellent program. Not hard to learn. I recommend it heartily.

Accordion Book with Fancy Spine

Accordion Book with Fancy Spine

I am so happy with my new lighting set up.

Am all set to start submitting articles to Bound & Lettered again!

 

 

2 Responses to “Thoughts on Photographing Artwork (Simply)”

  1. Steve Morris Says:

    I’ve been trying LED lighting in the house for around 8 years now. At first they were very hard to find and expensive – especially for high lumen outputs. Now the price has fallen significantly. But I do find that they don’t last as long as is claimed. I am forever changing light bulbs!

    Like


  2. Great Article. It’s always hard to photograph 3D art work. I do use photoshop elements to process my photos which is easier than the full-scale photoshop. I’ll check out the Word program. Thanks, Beryl

    Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: