Saturday, January 22, 2011

Photographing Your Art - Part 3. Minimizing Image Distortion

Do you take a picture of your two dimensional art and find that in your picture that the two sides of your artwork are not the same height? Or the top and bottom are not the same width? It's most likely due to where you're placing your camera in relation to the art. I've found it to be very helpful to do these steps.

First of all, try to always use a tripod because it's the most convenient way to consistently position your camera. If you don't have one, I suggest that you find one, or at least a place to set the camera so that it stays stable.

I make sure my canvas is perfectly vertical by using a short carpenter's spirit level on the face, (or on the back if the paint is wet!). Then I measure from the floor to the center of the painting. That will tell me where to adjust my tripod, so that the camera lens is at the same height. This way I know I'm shooting squarely onto the canvas, which really helps in making sure the top and bottom widths are as close as possible in my photo. As for getting the heights of the sides to match, it's a matter of moving your tripod to the left or right.

Without a tripod, your other option is to sit in a chair and measure the distance from the floor to your eye, and then change the height of the painting with your easel adjustments.

For those of you who are using an SLR camera instead of a point-and-shoot, I find it helps to use a longer lens and shoot from across the room. That helps minimize the differences between the center of the picture to the lens and the corners of the picture to the lens. Yeah, I know that may sound silly, but it seems to be working much better for me.

If you use any other tricks to make sure your photos aren't distorted, click just below here on "Comments" and share with us.
Next: Part 4. "Staying focused" and Minimizing Blur

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