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Author Topic: Photographing paintings for a Catalogue help please  (Read 1463 times)

360_6pack

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Photographing paintings for a Catalogue help please
« on: February 20, 2013, 02:33:01 AM »
Hi All.
I have been asked by a friend to photograph her paintings for putting into a photo gallery catalogue.

The specs are:
Tiff
Colour space : RGB
Colour ratio : 24 bit

Either height or width of an image should be more than 2000 pixels.
Image must have a valid ICC profile E.G. sRgb /Adobe Rgb (1998)
Image must have a valid RGB colour space and must be 8/24 bit colour ratio.

Could someone translate this for me into ordinary language please?

I have a 5D III with24-105 L and 70-200 IS 2.8 II lenses ands 430 EXII Flash.

Do I shoot in RAW and then process in something, I'm not aware of the camera producing Tiff's directly?

I have LR 4 and PE11. Can these packages be used to produce the required photos, and what settings would you use for shooting, Flash?

Help please? :-[

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Photographing paintings for a Catalogue help please
« on: February 20, 2013, 02:33:01 AM »

dmills

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Re: Photographing paintings for a Catalogue help please
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2013, 03:41:10 AM »
All of these settings can be changed when exporting your files from light room. To check this, open lightroom, look at any picture, and choose File > Export. Under file settings, choose TIFF, and look at the options.

Tiff: That's the file type. Seeing as you have a 5d3, your images will come out of the camera either as RAW (.CR2) or as JPG (.jpg). They are wanting TIFF files (.tif or .tiff).

Colour Space: RGB : This is basically a formula for how colors look. Since you're exporting to TIFF, you can just choose Adobe Rgb (1998) and kill two birds with one stone.

Colour Ratio: not a clue. They are likely referring to the bit depth. You can set that to 8, and probably keep them happy.

Since this seems like the gallery's specifications rather than your friends, I think you'll be fine. Basically, you'll want even lighting across the painting. If it were me, also having never shot this type of photography, I'd look for very diffused lighting, avoid any highlights anywhere on the work, and shoot it at f/5.6-f/8. Hope this helps.

*disclaimer* These are the thoughts of someone that has never shot this kind of photography. If someone has shot this type before, feel free to correct me.

Now... As a further note about the flash, when I think of flash, I think about it's purpose as "accenting the depth of a scene". Since your scene is a painting, you don't want to add any depth, but just show what's there. You want the scene to be pretty "flat" because you're reproducing something that is in two dimensions. Diffuse lighting will help to keep shadows from adding depth (darkness) to parts of the painting that aren't actually there when viewed. The biggest challenge you're likely to face is making sure that ambient lights aren't making hot-spots on your image. Flagging or diffusing those, and keeping the environment very controlled will likely be your best bet to keeping everyone happy.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 04:40:49 AM by dmills »
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filo64

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Re: Photographing paintings for a Catalogue help please
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2013, 04:13:49 AM »
Depending on the surface of the artwork and the angle and character of the light, reflections can be a major problem. A circular polarizer (filter) should help here.

I could type the same disclaimer as dmills here, so take it as a starting point for others to comment on and your own research...

chauncey

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Re: Photographing paintings for a Catalogue help please
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2013, 05:09:33 AM »
I'm gonna make the assumption that my suggestions are practical from your point of view:

Put them on an easel in a bright room with no direct sunlight, you want bright without glare;
camera, with 70-200 lens, on tripod at 90 degrees to painting> set your exposure in manual mode in live view, with histogram showing...
low ISO, about f/4 and SS to make that histogram near the right edge, manually pre-focus then lock-in focus, use remote shutter or self delay timer.

You now have an assembly line...take 3-4 shots of each painting (to cover your a$$) and periodically add a gray card into the scene to adjust colors in PP.
You may need to periodically check SS to adjust exposure for changing light to keep that histogram towards the right side.

It's no big deal once you're properly set up...simply take the shots and change paintings, over and over and over.

bycostello

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Re: Photographing paintings for a Catalogue help please
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2013, 06:10:11 AM »
when exporting from LR or whatever u use u can set all those things...

LDS

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Re: Photographing paintings for a Catalogue help please
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2013, 06:40:19 AM »
Set the 5DIII "pictures style" to "Neutral" or "Faithful" (check the difference in the manual), and then process the images accordingly. Check and set white balance while shooting, you can correct it later but IMHO it's better to start with the right one. The usual light setup is to have lights on the sides so the surface is uniformly lit, and with an angle so no direct reflection is seen by the camera - 45° is a good starting point, but the optimal angle depends on the subject size and camera distance. If there are some direct reflection hard to get rid off, polarize filters could help (also mounted on the light source).

The EOS 5DIII can use both sRGB and Adobe RGB to store its images, just you have to setup your devices and workflow accordingly to ensure proper color management.

Shoot in RAW, perform any needed adjustment in LR, and then convert to TIFF. TIFF can handle very different image formats (including non RGB formats like CMYK), that's why they specify which one they need - guess it means the standard 24 bit RGB with 8 bit per color (TIFF also supports 48 bit RGB images with 16 bit per color)
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 09:47:10 AM by LDS »

dave

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Re: Photographing paintings for a Catalogue help please
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2013, 07:28:24 AM »
Check out the book "light, science and magic" by fil hunter, Steven biver and Paul fuqua.

It has a really good section on "copy lighting".

I do this type of work at home regularly and you generally use two identical light sources. One on each side of the work at about 45 degrees. Using a longer focal length (the 70-200 is perfect) is useful because the family of angles that will cause direct (nasty) reflections is pretty small giving you plenty of room to move your lights. Basically you draw two imaginary lines from the front of you camera, one each to the left and right edge of your subject and bounce these off the wall at the same angle. The light should be positioned outside these imaginary lines. That's why 45 degrees is usually are good starting point.

Oh, diffused lights are generally more useful.

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Re: Photographing paintings for a Catalogue help please
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2013, 07:28:24 AM »

LewisShermer

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Re: Photographing paintings for a Catalogue help please
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2013, 09:01:58 AM »
2 flash heads (bowens preferably) either side of the painting with small soft boxes will do it. set both to f16 or something. depending on the type of painting it is (oil or watercolour or acrylic) is how wide you have them to catch brushstrokes. make sure they're equal distances though. you can do them on a wall or facing down to the floor. wall is probably easier though then you're not working around the legs of your tripod... photo with 50mm or bigger to avoid verticals and horizontals being off.

either that or send them to me and I'll knock them out proper for £70 a pop ;)
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thebowtie

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Re: Photographing paintings for a Catalogue help please
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2013, 09:03:39 PM »
The specs are:
Tiff
Colour space : RGB
Colour ratio : 24 bit

Either height or width of an image should be more than 2000 pixels.
Image must have a valid ICC profile E.G. sRgb /Adobe Rgb (1998)
Image must have a valid RGB colour space and must be 8/24 bit colour ratio.
Given that you have a 5DmkIII - you should also have the Canon-supplied "Digital Photo Professional" software.
With that software you can select a RAW (CR2) file, and using the menu "File | Convert and Save" select the file format "Exif-TIFF 8bit (*.TIF)" and select the "Embed ICC profile in image" checkbox.

This will give you a TIFF 24-bit (i.e. 8-bit per Red, Green Blue channel) color file tagged with the Color profile (Adobe RBG or sRGB) that you used to take the picture.

Hope this helps
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Re: Photographing paintings for a Catalogue help please
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2013, 09:03:39 PM »