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Photographing oil paintings

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    AlanJ
    AlanJ e2 Member 1373 forum postsAlanJ vcard England
    9 Nov 2013 - 4:40 PM

    My daughter reproduced an old photograph of my parents in oil paint and I want to photograph it so that I can give prints to my family.
    Any tips on lighting and the method likely to get best results?

    Alan

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    9 Nov 2013 - 4:40 PM

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    hobbo
    hobbo e2 Member 3772 forum postshobbo vcard England2 Constructive Critique Points
    9 Nov 2013 - 6:20 PM


    Quote: My daughter reproduced an old photograph of my parents in oil paint and I want to photograph it so that I can give prints to my family.
    Any tips on lighting and the method likely to get best results?

    Alan

    Yes!

    I had to do the same recently......

    I ensured that it was facing a decent window light......placed it on a tripod, tilted slightly forwards at the top to avoid reflections.......put my camera on a tripod to be square on to the painting......then did a few shots until I obtained the best results.

    Hobbo

    petebfrance
    9 Nov 2013 - 6:23 PM

    I take mine out into the back garden and photograph them shaded from and pointing approximately away from the sun. The painting actually rests on a low wall and leans against an old Japanese lantern. The Painting is usually tilted back, house is a pale colour so the reflected light is reasonably neutral.
    Probably not the approved method, but with a bit of tweaking (colour balance is often too, warm presumably because the house is cream?) they look OK. I believe the correct method is using two lights, one on either side, at an angle that I can't remember, but I'm sure somebody on this site must know how it should be done. Side-lighting like that is usefull for showing up brush-strokes etc.

    Pete

    ensign
    ensign e2 Member 7181 forum postsensign vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
    9 Nov 2013 - 7:47 PM

    Hi Alan,
    Like Pete and Hobbo, I have recently carryed out a similar project. I try to use natural light where possible. I found a bright overcaste light was good, as it is more even and reduces shadows. I also have a reflector to hand. Camera on tripod and if possible picture off the wall.
    Hope this is of some use Alan and Good luck.
    Bernard.

    AlanJ
    AlanJ e2 Member 1373 forum postsAlanJ vcard England
    9 Nov 2013 - 10:29 PM

    Thanks guys.
    All good tips. I want to do it justice because my daughter blew me away with painting!
    It was a 60th birthday present and while I knew she had great talent as a tattoo artist I never imagined she was such a talented artist in oils. She captured my mum and dad so well. My whole family were amazed and all want a print.

    tomcat
    tomcat e2 Member 85835 forum poststomcat vcard United Kingdom15 Constructive Critique Points
    9 Nov 2013 - 11:17 PM

    No one thought of scanning????

    petebfrance
    9 Nov 2013 - 11:49 PM


    Quote: No one thought of scanning????

    Interesting - I've scanned a few acrylics, water-colours, drawings etc.

    Only having an A4 scanner most of my oils won't fit, but even for small ones I don't use it.
    This is because I'm rather reluctant to put them face down on the glass because the paint surface can stay tacky for rather a long time and can take quite a few months to 'harden.' Also, I find that my scanner does rather too good a job on recording surface irregularities to the detriment of the picture.

    Paul Morgan
    Paul Morgan e2 Member 1314811 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
    10 Nov 2013 - 2:51 AM

    This might help

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEog0OeSBww

    arhb
    arhb e2 Member 72117 forum postsarhb vcard United Kingdom67 Constructive Critique Points
    10 Nov 2013 - 8:57 AM


    Quote: No one thought of scanning????

    The problem with scanning is exposure to very bright light which would cause specular highlights of the scanned image, caused by high points in the oil paint, and varnish reflection.
    As has been mentioned, diffused natural light(overcast daylight) will give better results.

    MGJ
    MGJ  5111 forum posts5 Constructive Critique Points
    10 Nov 2013 - 1:31 PM

    I suspect the lights on each side would produce the best result. You need to set the lights up such that they produce a diffuse reflection (diffusion sheets and camera position?), and it would be best to do a white balance test shot too. Make sure the camera back is parallel to the painting is also a wise move.

    There are simpler ways, but it really depends on how dead right you want/need it.

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