tips on photographing Your own art

my digital jury image services



Tips for Photographing Paintings

Bookmark and Share

First set your camera properly. Read my article on how to set your digital camera to photograph art, and make sure to use a tripod.  If you intend to use stationary lights, check out my page of lighting diagrams. If you're depending in sunlight or open shade, consider setting up your white canopy on an overcast or cloudy day. Set up three walls with a display panel to hang the painting on in the center of the middle wall. Place the fourth wall on the floor to bounce the light back up and give you more even exposure over the entire painting. Set your tripod up where the fourth wall would be. Set the camera horizontally to photograph horizontal paintings and set the camera vertically to photograph vertical paintings. Compose as tight as possible but still leave space around the painting, even if it isn't composed exactly square because the image can be straightened and squared afterwards in Photoshop. If the painting is framed, crop in as tight as possible but still leave a little of the frame all around. Do not photograph your framed paintings leaving the entire frame within the image because once properly cropped the image may be too small for jurying.
If the painting isn't framed it will make life easier. Glass causes reflections, and even if you use a polarizing filter it will probably dull the colors slightly. Besides the problems caused by trying to shoot through glass, the frame itself will cause a dark shadow along the two sides in the direction the light is coming from.
If you are shooting through glass, you need to control what's being reflected. The best way would be to shoot at an angle to the painting and hang a large piece of black fabric where the reflections are coming from. You will find that the larger the painting, the more severe the angle you will have to shoot but that won't be an issue if all that's reflected is the black fabric, which actually won't be visible because it will counter the reflection. Afterwards the image will have to be cropped to the edge of the painting and squared and then proportioned back to the original proportion of the painting.
If you're having me do the post processing, I will also need to know the original size of the painting unframed so I can correct the proportion and give you an accurate jury image, like the example illustrated below.

As an example, I photographed this painting under glass
and you can see the black fabric I hung to control the reflection

After cropping and squaring the image of the painting,
you can see that it's much narrower than the original

Correcting the proportion (and color) of the image
based on the original size makes it look more accurate for jurying


Tips on Photographing Your Own Art

Hire me to Prepare your Digital Jury Images

Examples of my jury slide photography

Digital Jury Resources


All photos on this site are available for stock or fine art sales
contact Larry Berman for more information

Slide scanning for ZAPP and other digital jury systems

Jury Slide Photography

1970s ABA and NBA Basketball photographs
specializing in Julius Erving (Dr J) photographs

Order prints from any gallery

Support BermanGraphics

Contact Us

Participate in the Art Shows Forum

Web site content Larry Berman

email Larry Berman - larry@bermanart.com