STEP 1 – Photographing Your Art
These are important things to know about Photographing your art.
Light & Film:
1) You should use film that is toned to match the type of light you use to photograph your art.
If you photograph your art outside, you should use standard outdoor film.
2) If you photograph your art inside, you should use Tungsten toned film. This film is designed to counteract the warmth that tungsten gas lighting casts on your art. Tungsten gas lighting includes standard light bulbs, but not fluorescent lighting. I would probably avoid florescent lighting for photographic art.
3) Professional Photographers generally use special lights that simulate sunlight, as this is the only way to get a true representation of the actual color of the art. If you are trying to save money on this, I would strongly recommend that you photograph your art outside.
The direction of the light source from your art is very important. The light should not be directly in front of the image. It works best if the light is at a 45 degree angle from the image. It is also nice if there are two light sources. One on each side of the image, both at 45 degree angles from the work.
If your photographing your work outside, it works well to photograph you’re art in indirect sunlight, but not in deep shadow, or direct sunlight. Usually a porch, or an awning work well. You must always check to make sure that there aren’t any brightly colored objects near that will contribute reflected light or project color on to the art.
Be sure to observe the angles of the edges of your art in the cameras view finder, it is easy for these edges to distort. Try to line the edges of the work up with the sides of the view finder.
It is also a good idea to use a tripod, as it makes a much clearer photograph if you can eliminate any camera movement.
You can purchase an inexpensive Copy stand to photograph medium to small pieces for about $100 from an art supply store, or a camera store. These usually include light fixtures, and a bracket to mount your camera on. This might be a wise investment if you plan on photographing alot of art.
Important – Most Copy stand light sorces are tungsten, and you need to purchase tungsten toned film to get the proper color rendition. Tungsten film is available at most camera stores, but not generally at grocery stores, or department stores
STEP 2 – Prepare your images
Your images have to be in a format that will work on the Internet. These formats are Jpeg, which has a .jpg extension, and Gif, which has a .gif extension. All image editors will allow you to save your pictures in these formats. You have to use the save as command, and select jpeg or gif from the available file formats.
Gifs are 8 bit (256 colors) – they are not very effective for photographic images.
Jpegs are 24 bit (16.8 million colors) – this format was designed for photographs. You can choose the level of compression. Low compression makes the file size bigger, but the image stays high quality. High compression makes the image size small, but causes a degradation in the quality of the image.
Resolution: Your images should be screen resolution. 72 dpi is standard screen resolution. The image should be 500 pixels wide or smaller. 7″ at 72 dpi is 504 pixels wide.
Capture the image:
Scan your images at screen resolution (72dpi). Most scanners come with software that allows you to set the screen resolution, or the image size, or the pixel width. Many scanners use TWAIN drivers, which allow you to scan into your favorite image editing software.
2. Digital cameras usually produce images at acceptable resolutions, but if the images exceed 500 pixels wide, you may need to use an image editor to reduce the size.
3. You can have your film processor put your pictures on a Photo Disk. This is a CD rom with high quality scans of your pictures on the disk. These images have to be converted to a gif or a jpeg before you can use them.
Image editors: There are hundreds of great image editors. Chances are, that your scanner or your digital camera came with one. I will list a few of the better ones below.
Adobe Photo Shop – The king! (around $500)
Corel Photo Paint – Very Very Good! Big Bang for the Buck (around $100)
Fractal Design Painter – Fantastic! – For the creative! (around $300)
Paint Shop Pro from JASC – Cheep but Good! – Shareware – Well worth $70
Macromedia Fireworks – WOW! soon to be the king. (around $200)
Adobe Photo Deluxe – Good but limited – Comes with many scanners
Ulead Photo Impact – Good – Comes with many scanners
Step 3 – Joining Find Me an Artist
Proceed to the register page of the Find Me an Artist web site, and fill out the form. This is free, and allows you to create your on-line portfolio.