Recommendations for shooting paitnings

Started Feb 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
Luke Kaven Veteran Member • Posts: 5,705
Re: Recommendations for shooting paitnings

iShootWideOpen wrote:

I need to photograph nearly 40 paintings varying in sizes from 16"x20" to 5'x8"

I have a Hasselblad H4D 40 with a 100mm lens (no macro) and Canon 5D3 with a 100L Macro.

I know the basics like using a high resolution camera, macro or low distortion lens shot stopped down, keeping the lens the right angle, using a tripod, and looking for reflections, etc..

What about lighting? Do I need to light this with artificial light or use available?

If artificial, what type of set-up?


This recent thread at LuLa brought some lively discussion among people who do a lot of this kind of work.

For paintings especially, I use a cross-polarization setup.  Two strobes with only reflectors angled at 45 degrees flanking the canvas, Rosco Cinegel polarizers over the strobes, and a circular polarizer on the lens.  Orient the cinegel in one direction on both strobes, then dial in the polarizer on the lens to cancel reflections and glare.  A color reference for profiling is recommended, e.g., QPCard, X-rite Passport.

But opinions do vary.  Read through the discussion I linked to and see what you think.

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