The Art Of Photographing Art – Watch Out For That Glare

Luis Marroquin Photo Shoot - 10

Do you ever need to photograph your artwork? Maybe to post online on your store, submit to an art show or maybe just share with your friends. Art can be a very difficult thing to photograph.

Luis Marroquin Photo Shoot - 9

Common problems with photographing artwork can be glare from shiny surfaces and colors from the painting throwing off the White Balance. These are the two I had to deal with on my recent photo shoot of some art for a friend and very gifted artist, Luis Marroquin.
Luis Marroquin Photo Shoot - 6 Luis Marroquin Photo Shoot - 7 Luis Marroquin Photo Shoot - 8

Luis’ art can be very difficult to capture. He works with lots of textures, glossy resin finishes and sculpture. Of course, there is no way to eliminate all glare from this type of work but you can at least minimize it and get a good picture where the glare actually accents the piece and accentuates the 3 dimensional structure.

I made a few mistakes on the first round of this photo shoot. Everything looked super blue and for some reason it looked like there was a bright stripe of white glare across all the pieces. This is how I fixed those issues.

  • Make sure to turn off all lights in the room except the ones lighting the painting. Any lights or bright objects in the background can reflect in shiny pieces of art. That was my first mistake. I thought I had some great shots, went in to check and they all had the same reflection from the shop light in the space reflecting on them. Oooooops. Have to remember to turn that off next time.
Luis Marroquin Photo Shoot - 2
Image shot with shop light on in the background. Notice the horizontal glare.

 

Luis Marroquin Photo Shoot - 3
Image shot with shop light off and no glare.
  • Test different settings to make sure you are getting the best White Balance for your camera. This is important or your photos can come our looking very blue or yellow. The easiest way to do this is simply shoot a shot on each setting and see which one looks best. You will usually see settings for different types of lights, sunny or cloudy day. Depending on the types of lights and background you are shooting it can vary so I just try them all and go for the one that looks best.
Luis Marroquin Photo Shoot - 1
Notice the white background looks very blue and the horizontal glare.
Luis Marroquin Photo Shoot - 4
Notice the more balanced white background and no glare across the image. I turned off the shop light in the background and tried different white balance settings until I found the best one.

If you have any questions about getting good shots of your work send me a message or chat with me on social media. Send me links to your shots and  show me your setup.

Luis
Luis Marroquin at Sanchez Art Center

You can see the art of Luis Marroquin at http://innatribe.com. You will be able to purchase some of the art from this session soon when Luis finishes updating the store on his site.

 

Enjoy!

Mark Bray
Artist, Musician, Inner Space Traveler
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