Lighting an oil painting properly

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
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joebuzz New Member • Posts: 13
Lighting an oil painting properly


I am trying to take a glare free photo of one of my unvarnished oil paintings and can't seem to find a solution that works with my current setup. I still have problems with glare no matter where I move my softboxes. I have about 14 x 12 feet of space and have had the softboxes pretty much everywhere I could try.

This is my current studio setup:

-Sigma DP3 Quattro 50mm

-Amazon Basics 58mm CPL (plus a different brand as backup)

-2x softbox using 800w/ 5500k

-Sekonic 308 light meter

-Datacolor SpyderX Pro monitor calibrator

-Datacolor SCK200 SpyderCHECKR 24 - color checker and white card

I got pretty close to a solution that works, but I don't think it's the most efficient or correct way. I stacked two CPL's on my lens and moved the softboxes about 6 feet from the center of the painting at what I estimate is 45 degrees, but completely guessing. I have the boxes in the horizontal position and pointed away from the painting so that only the corner of each box is pointing towards the painting. I also placed a white garbage back over each screen because the bulb was creating a bright spot otherwise.

My settings are 5 sec., f/8, ISO 100 shooting raw and high quality jpeg. Here's a sample of the best attempt from the night:

The glare is still somewhat visible on each horses mane. darks are a little washed out.

Is it my softboxes that is causing the issue? I feel like the light isn't being cast evenly because the bulb is so close to the fabric. I'm not sure, and I'm cutting it close for when i need to deliver this painting. I'm trying to take a high res photo for prints.

Sigma dp3 Quattro
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