Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Scarlet - Photographing Reds

Palette Knife/Oil

Scarlet was completed quickly with a palette knife. I try very hard to make sure I get a photo of everything I paint, but reds are very difficult to photograph well. They don't print as well as other colors, so making this painting into a card mailer was an task I spent hours on and eventually had to abandon. If you have tips or suggestions on how to successfully reproduce your reds in photos or prints, I would love to hear about them. This would be a great question for art guru Linda Blondheim...!


Archie and Melissa said...

Hi Nancy

That is an excellent question. I often hold my breath after completing a painting from the time I scan until I print it, hoping I will like the interpretation. It is never exactly the same, but that is ok. What in life really is? Heee. :)
m & e

Manon said...

Unfortunately, I have no tips to offer you! I do love the painting however! You're very skilled with your palette knife! I hope you have a Happy New Year Nancy!!

tlwest said...

Take photos on a bright day outside but just in the shade. NO flash. When you get the photo uploaded take a look at it. I use photo shop. Usually I just increase the brightness level a TINY bit and and the contrast- Never use the automatic enhancer- it will do wild things :)Also take your photos before you varnish and take a few from different angles making sure you are not casting a shadow on your painting! In the end - when someone buys your painting without having seen it in real life - they will get a WOW as photos just cant do justice to real art ;)

Unknown said...

Thanks for the tips Terri - I will give that a try. Melissa, you are so right, the photos never look like the real thing. Sometimes they look better LOL!!! Manon, you and OttyMan have a wonderful evening and all you ladies and your furbabies...new year's is almost here! me and the puggies have our little party horns all prepared for tooting.

Linda Blondheim said...

A wonderful painting.

No photo expert here at all, but I take mine inside the studio right on my easel. I use photo imagaging software to tweak the contrast, saturation and so forth until it is right. For small paintings, I find scanning to be excellent with the photo imaging software. Taking the photos outside has never been good for me. I do better in the studio with lots of lights on and no flash.

Dougie said...

I do two approaches: Scanner and taking photos outside. For blues and reds, I generally take a photo outside on an extremely sunny day. The painting is photographed with perpendicular to the sun (it's not behind the painting or in front of the painting). Other colors, I can get away with scanning the painting and using Photoshop to piecemeal the images together.

The trick is not taking the photo, but creating one that looks good on the monitor and printing. This is much more difficult and I go through a lot of effort to do that. In Photoshop, using Curves is the best way. It's a way of adjusting the mid-tones, dark and highlights separately.

I also found that semi-gloss / glossy paper works better for blues and reds (truer colors). Matte doesn't work that well (color bleaches out). For card stock, a bright white card stock with a semi-glossy feel works also well.

The final tip is to make a lot of little tiny prints and adjust the colors for printing, rather than what you see on your monitor. I keep separate files for monitor display and different paper displays. So, I'll have the same image for lots of different output medium.

Unknown said...

I feel like I hit a gold mine with these excellent tips. I'm still learning how to use all the features on editing colors in Adobe Photoshop Elements and will play with that a bit more - I never thought about using it to adjust for the reds and will give it a try. When I adjust colors, though, I save a copy of the original photo, since contest and art show entries sometimes call for an "unedited" photo.
thanks for the input guys, happy almost 2009!