Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Photographing Artwork

I am never quite able to obtain the exact colours of a painting, and for my style of painting which relies on colour to a large extent, this is a nuisance. I always try to photograph artwork in daylight but it is not infallible. Here are a few examples of the differences which I find in one piece of art.

Firstly, the image from a photograph taken at night
under light from ordinary incandescent light bulbs. 
A washed out appearance results. 
The Blue in the sky is almost grey and 
the red on the horizon has become orange,

I applied an image/adjustment selecting auto-levels from the 
menus, this made quite a difference. The blue in the sky 
was bought out quite well and the sillouettes of the trees 
were much closer to the original painting. The red on the horizon
however, was still far too orange.

I used the hue/saturation tool to try to change the redness 
of that colour on the horizon.

This now has a feel of the original painting but is just not right. Trying to place this for sale on the internet would simply not be fair to the prospective buyers. DO NOT take photographs under the wrong sort of light.

Now, let's see a photograph taken in daylight. This 
was again a very washed out image, but note the 
colours. The blue is OK and the red now looks red.

I again selected the auto-levels and this again adds
contrast to the image, but still not strong enough.

I now selected the brightness/contrast tool and reduced 
the brightness to bring back the solid sillouettes.
It now looks very close to the original painting.

I do not consider this editing to be cheating, since I am simply re-creating the atmosphere of the original painting. In my work which, as I said relies upon colour and tonal contrasts, this is absolutely vital to create the right impression of the artwork.

The issue here I think is that I took the natural daylight photo quite early  (early February) in a room close to a window and the light was probably not strong enough to give the correct tonal values. I do not have a set-up to achieve this sort of image without this minor editing, although it does produce a profound effect.

Finally, I do play with photoshop sometimes but will always say so when I do ...............

......................... smiles!

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