tips on photographing Your own art

my digital jury image services



How to photograph
large or difficult to photograph artwork

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What are the similarities between a large softbox and a 10x10 white canopy? Both are large sources of diffused soft light that can be placed close to artwork to photograph it. The roof of a white canopy acts just like the white front of the softbox.


Iíve walked art shows and discussed with artists how they photograph their work. Itís easy to see that some work can make great jury slides yet be difficult to photograph, especially mixed media pieces with intricate cutouts. But the artwork looks great in the booth as it needs to look to be able to sell it.

EZ-Up with fourth side on the ground
acting as a reflector to bounce light back up
the artwork can hang on panels against the back wall

For a few years Iíve recommended shooting under your white canopy if you have large or difficult to photograph artwork. Itís better to set your canopy up for the photograph, instead of planning to do it at a show. Put up three walls and put the fourth wall on the ground inside the canopy to act as a reflector to bounce the diffused light back up giving more even lighting on the artwork hanging against the back wall in the booth. Be careful when shooting under direct sunlight. Even inside the canopy, direct sunlight hitting the roof will cause the interior lighting to have too much contrast. Overcast or cloudy days are better as it gives a more diffused even light over the artwork. Make sure to use a tripod so the camera can compensate for the required exposure time without movement.
In the examples below, the original is on the left and the jury image made from the original is on the right. The pictures were taken by me in the respective artist's booths at art shows.

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