An arrangement: photographing artwork

I have had various arrangements for photographing my artwork over the years.

Smaller quilts are relatively simple to photograph. It’s the larger ones that have taken the most effort. I’ve had it professionally photographed (costly, and requires the artwork to be completed well before it’s deadline). We’ve tried laying the quilt on the deck and laying across the patio rafters above the quilt to take the photo. Rather awkward. We’ve used a large laminated board leaning against the garage. Then we moved and the board didn’t work for us anymore.

So I got some styrofoam boards to lean against the southern side of the house. It worked, but was still a bit of an ordeal. We had to wait for the right time of day (which usually meant that I had to take the photos by myself) and we were often re-shooting because it didn’t work out the first time.

So earlier this year I spent a bit of time researching how to photograph my artwork indoors. Here’s what we came up with:

It involves
- my husband (he mans the camera for me)
- my design wall
- a white sheet to cover loose threads etc on the design wall
- two studio lights with strong daylight globes
- a tripod
- a grey card
- our DSLR camera
- a bag tie to tie up the pendant lamp so that it doesn’t hang in the way

For those who wish to know, here’s a basic outline of the process we follow:

1. Cover design wall with white sheet
2. Hang artwork (with hidden pins)
3. Set camera to middle of zoom range, then place camera on tripod at a suitable distance from the artwork (such that the artwork fills most of the viewfinder).
4. Centre the camera to the artwork both horizontally and vertically (measure the height of the centre of the artwork from the ground and adjust the tripod accordingly).
5. Place the studio lights one on each side of the camera such that the artwork is evenly lit.
6. Place the grey card at the centre of the artwork to set the exposure (in manual mode). Remove card.
7. Adjust the camera to the self-timer mode (to lessen camera  shake).
8. Take photo :)

We found this website helpful, as was the ex-artwork photographer I spoke to at Gerry Gibbs Camera House.

And while we’re talking arrangements, here’s another one that makes me smile…

Every morning when Aaron practices the piano, he moves the bean bag or rocker so that Marcus can watch him, and as he’s practicing, he asks Marcus what he things about it… Special!

I’m linking up with #amonthof #mycreativespace for the month of November. Today’s prompt: an arrangement.