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Subject: "Lighting Artwork on a Wall" Previous topic | Next topic
Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Sun 18-Nov-12 05:40 PM
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"Lighting Artwork on a Wall"


Los Angeles, US
          

How does a person set up a speedlight(s) for photographing a painting? I tried a Nikon SB800 in the camera hotshoe. I set the strobe to TTl exposure with spot metering.

But I felt like the results weren't capturing the full range of color or detail of my wife's Acrylic painting. She sold it, along with other paintings, and wanted a record of her work. The books I have on flash lighting say nothing about static, flat subject matter.

Thanks,

Gary in Santa Monica

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall
barrywesthead Silver Member Awareded for his continued support of the Nikonians community, freely sharing his expertise, particularly in the areas of digital post processing and printing.
19th Nov 2012
1
Reply message RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall
gkaiseril Gold Member
19th Nov 2012
2
Reply message RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall
Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
19th Nov 2012
3
Reply message RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall
hujiie Silver Member
19th Nov 2012
4
Reply message RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall
Bravozulu Silver Member
19th Nov 2012
5
     Reply message RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall
Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
19th Nov 2012
6
          Reply message RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall
Bravozulu Silver Member
19th Nov 2012
7
               Reply message RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall
Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
20th Nov 2012
8
               Reply message RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall
Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
20th Nov 2012
9

barrywesthead Silver Member Awareded for his continued support of the Nikonians community, freely sharing his expertise, particularly in the areas of digital post processing and printing. Nikonian since 07th Nov 2006Mon 19-Nov-12 12:28 AM
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#1. "RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon 19-Nov-12 12:40 AM by barrywesthead

Kleinburg, CA
          

Your setup will depend on how accurately you want to replicate paintings.

You can download a document here which is a reasonable compromise between thoroughness and simplicity on the subject.

http://www.kauaisprintmaker.com/how-to-print-the-perfect-giclee.php

The first twelve pages will get you started. Anything less than cross-polarized lighting will be hit-and-miss.

It may seem somewhat complicated but I can tell you from experience there is even more technology and setup needed to adequately cover different types of art than is contained in this document.

I have been replicating artwork in the form of limited edition framed prints for artists for several years now. There is considerable art and science involved in getting printer inks to look exactly like an acrylic, oil or water color artwork in a given lighting situation. The spectral reflective properties of each media are different than pigment printer inks so the last step to an “exact” visible match has to be achieved with science, art, skill and a whole lot of Photoshop persistence and test strip prints.

Once you have an exact match print you can store it in an archival black box and always have it as a reference if the original is sold because if you change printers or media you will no longer be able print a match to the original without processing adjustments.

All this information may come under the TMI heading but it will give you and your wife a glimpse of what's involved in art reproduction.

Barry
http://art2printimages.com
bwesthead@art2printimages.com

  

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gkaiseril Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005Mon 19-Nov-12 12:29 AM
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#2. "RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall"
In response to Reply # 0


Chicago, US
          

For copy work you would want at least 2 lights at 45 degrees from the center of the work being copied. You want to keep ambient light low and control the reflections if there is glass. You also need the camera centered and square to the subject.

You might also need a digital 18% gray card to get the correct white balance.

Are you looking at NEF of jpegs?

You should look at Byran Peterson's book on exposure.


George
My Nikonian Galleries

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberMon 19-Nov-12 12:40 AM
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#3. "RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>How does a person set up a speedlight(s) for photographing a
>painting? I tried a Nikon SB800 in the camera hotshoe. I set
>the strobe to TTl exposure with spot metering.
>
>But I felt like the results weren't capturing the full range
>of color or detail of my wife's Acrylic painting. She sold it,
>along with other paintings, and wanted a record of her work.
>The books I have on flash lighting say nothing about static,
>flat subject matter.
>
>Thanks,
>
>Gary in Santa Monica

One key thing needed when photographing artwork is to make the light as soft as possible.

Here's a way to use what you already have to get very good results:

1. Darken the room
2. Set the white balance on flash
3. Turn the flash in the hot shoe around backwards and pointed slightly up (over your head) so that it will bounce off the entire room behind you.

This technique will eliminate hot spots on the artwork by making extremely soft light, and the color will be very accurate as long as there is no artificial light contributing to the image and the walls/ceiling are a neutral color.

Please come back and let us know how this works for you.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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hujiie Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Apr 2009Mon 19-Nov-12 01:20 AM
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#4. "RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

I have done this all my life for reproductions shots. As all mentioned, you would need two flash lights (with umbrellas) on both sides if the work is small. There are two important issues to tackle.

1. All light are equally distributed to the art work. Measure with your light meter for EV's of 4 corners and center as well as half points to to make sure all are EQUAL.

2. Direct Refection management. Placing the lights on 45 angle is a starting point. But it all depend on your camera distance to the art work and size of the art work. Light Science and Magic is a good book to refer.

If your artwork is more than 30" x 30", it would be very difficult to evenly light with 2x SB800's. I would suggest to bring the artwork outside in a cloudy day to shoot outdoor w/o strobe. But again measure EV for all corner and center to find the right place.

White point is important but it can be adjusted by post so long as one single even light source.

www.hitoshiujiie.com/photography.html

  

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Mon 19-Nov-12 02:36 AM
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#5. "RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall"
In response to Reply # 4


Los Angeles, US
          

Thanks to all. I am shooting in DX format, with a D7000 Nikon and sharp 60mm Macro lens. The portrait was about 18" across, with dark, muted tones. That is done with, but about 50 more paintings will be on exhibition at the Canada Fair in Palm Springs, California this December.

Many will be sold, so I'll have to record each and every one before they are packed and transported. Glare isn't much of an issue. The paint is not glossy and there are no glass frames.

It would be easy to mount two smaller softboxes on lightstands at 45°, if you think it is warranted. The ceiling in my wife's studio is 12', so bouncing would be difficult with two SB800 speedlights. I think.

Thanks again.

Gary

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberMon 19-Nov-12 03:48 AM
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#6. "RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall"
In response to Reply # 5
Mon 19-Nov-12 03:50 AM by Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>The ceiling in my wife's
>studio is 12', so bouncing would be difficult with two SB800
>speedlights. I think.

Just try it! I think you will be surprised. I do it all the time in studios that large.

With two SB800's you should have plenty of power and get a good bounce. You may need to increase ISO a bit, but you shouldn't have to go over ISO 800.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Mon 19-Nov-12 04:17 AM
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#7. "RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall"
In response to Reply # 6
Tue 20-Nov-12 01:01 AM by Bravozulu

Los Angeles, US
          

Great. And I'll get that book on exposure and the one on lighting as well. Oh, and I am shooting RAW files.

Here is the image I shot. Dark, low contrast tones. This image is a tad overexposed. The feel of the painting is somber. Shot with an SB800, TTl mode, spot metering. Flash in hotshoe. Diffusion dome aimed upward at 45°. Dark room. White balance set to flash.

ISO 400. AP mode, f5.6 @ 1/60sec.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberTue 20-Nov-12 01:28 AM
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#8. "RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall"
In response to Reply # 7


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Great. And I'll get that book on exposure and the one on
>lighting as well. Oh, and I am shooting RAW files.
>
>Here is the image I shot. Dark, low contrast tones. This image
>is a tad overexposed. The feel of the painting is somber. Shot
>with an SB800, TTl mode, spot metering. Flash in hotshoe.
>Diffusion dome aimed upward at 45°. Dark room. White balance
>set to flash.

You need to turn the flash around backwards. You are getting way too much direct light from the flash even when aimed up at 45 degrees. This image is seriously overexposed.

Also, it's usually best to shoot in camera Manual mode and let the flash control the exposure. Set the shutter speed at around 1/160 or so to reduce camera motion blur. A tripod would be best.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberTue 20-Nov-12 01:30 AM
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#9. "RE: Lighting Artwork on a Wall"
In response to Reply # 7


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Great. And I'll get that book on exposure and the one on
>lighting as well. Oh, and I am shooting RAW files.
>
>Here is the image I shot. Dark, low contrast tones. This image
>is a tad overexposed. The feel of the painting is somber. Shot
>with an SB800, TTl mode, spot metering. Flash in hotshoe.
>Diffusion dome aimed upward at 45°. Dark room. White balance
>set to flash.

You need to turn the flash around backwards. You are getting way too much direct light from the flash even when aimed up at 45 degrees. This image is seriously overexposed.

Also, I've found it best to shoot in camera Manual mode and let the TTL flash control the exposure. Set the shutter speed at around 1/160 or so to reduce camera motion blur. A tripod would be best.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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