Today's postings

  1. [Baren 38843] Re: images for online sales ("Mike Lyon")
  2. [Baren 38844] Thanks (Gayle Wohlken)
  3. [Baren 38845] Re: images for online sales (Jürgen Stieler)
  4. [Baren 38846] Re: Drawing tutorials (Anna Huskey)
  5. [Baren 38847] Re: images for online sales (Amanda Miller)
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Message 1
From: "Mike Lyon"
Date: Sat, 09 May 2009 14:21:47 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38843] Re: images for online sales
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Documenting our work IS a bit of a problem, isn't it? My work of the past 5
years or so has been LARGE (up to about 8 feet) and it's a TRICK to
photograph - I'm doing the best I can, but it's still only so-so, I think.

* Calibration: I DO use a Huey Pantone calibrator (about $60 and well
worth it) to keep my display as accurate as I can and I DO color correct my
scanner so that it scans more accurately and what _I_ see is as close as
possible to what a web-viewer or commercial printer sees. I scan a
commercial gray-scale chart to correct the scanner. This is IMPORTANT (to
me)! Also helps reduce problems with commercial print jobs.
* Scanner: I use an old UMAX PowerLook 2100XL scanner (scans up to
about 11x17 inches at any resolution you like up to about 6000dpi) for
smaller work - it's slow but good quality scans. I occasionally scan larger
work a piece at a time and stitch the images together in PhotoShop but
that's a pain. Anyway, if a piece is small enough to fit into the scanner,
that's the quickest and easiest way for me to get a good image
* Slide scanner: I use an old Nikon LS-1000 to scan 35mm slides -
works very well and provides scans of about 3500 pixels each dimension, but
again - it's slow and you must be very careful to have clean slides!
* Digital photography:
This is MOSTLY what I use for work too large to scan. For quick and easy
work, I use a Canon G9 (which I LOVE - also shoots decent video at 640x480
30fps). I'm liking video more and more lately - I use YouTube to host the
videos - YouTube reduces bandwidth and storage requirements on my own site
and (so far) it's free and unlimited use.

For important work, I use a Canon 5D (which I also LOVE, of course). I
generally use one of two portrait lenses (85mm or 105mm) for shooting my
model's head, but these aren't well suited to photographing prints or
drawings as they are designed to shoot with very narrow depth of field. A
longer lens (telephoto) works best for shooting work on paper (telephoto
yields less distortion). I have a large studio with high ceilings and good
natural light from a bank of windows - I prefer to shoot on overcast days so
the light floods the studio more diffusely - I NEVER shoot in direct
sunlight (unless I'm shooting a painting and want to emphasize impasto).
For large work, I lay the work out flat on the floor (I use a little blue
masking tape to hold down papers which want to 'curl'). Then I roll a
stairway (big steel stairs with wheels) right up next to the paper on the
side away from the windows, climb up to the very top, center myself over the
middle of the piece - I use a monopod to hang the camera out over the center
and a variable zoom telephoto zoomed in as tight as possible to still see
the entire piece and shoot three or four to be sure I get at least one in
focus. I shoot in camera RAW for best results. I measure the work (height,
width). Then I load the image into PhotoShop and adjust for best image and
sharpness. I PhotoShop-distort the image to remove lens distortion and
resize it so that the width and height of the piece in the photo are the
same as actual proportions. Then I crop to the edges of the piece and.
Usually that works 'OK' for me. But it doesn't tell the whole story (due to
resolution limitations in both image and practical web size), so I generally
try to shoot one or two good details as well - sometimes I'll stick my hand
(or whole self using self-timer on camera) into the shot in order to convey
the scale of the work - otherwise, it's pretty impossible for anyone to
'get' it!

I do have a pair of photo floods I can synch up, but I almost NEVER use them
because natural light is easier and generally gives better results (best to
have light coming in at a low angle, by the way, rather than coming from the
camera flash or from behind the camera. For smaller work which is already
pretty 'flat', it's very easy to just tape the piece against the wall with
light coming more or less from one side (I don't like flash - again,
difficult to use and usually gives me a 'harsh' result - but I do
occasionally use a flash to fill depending on setup or for 3D work) - then I
zoom in to limit of optical zoom (NEVER digital zoom) and step back until
the piece fills the field and (use tripod) shoot! Quick and easy and gives
decent results. I use PhotoShop to 'remove' any tape at the edges of the

-- Mike

Mike Lyon
Kansas City, MO
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Message 2
From: Gayle Wohlken
Date: Sat, 09 May 2009 14:55:04 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38844] Thanks
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Robert and Maria, you have been a fine working team and I, for one,
appreciate your efforts in getting Exchange #40 in the mail in a
timely fashion. Thank you very much for your fine work in making all
of us in the exchange come through by the deadline! And fellow
exchange participants, high five!

~Gayle Wohlken
Northeast Ohio
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Message 3
From: Jürgen Stieler
Date: Sat, 09 May 2009 20:05:14 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38845] Re: images for online sales
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The way I take digital images of my larger pictures is a rather easy
way, but will offer pretty results when done carefully, white balance,
metering etc is done according to your camera model:
On a "light cloudy" day I place the artwork on the northern wall of the
house, hanging "absolutely" vertical, so do not lean it against the
wall, for prints i suggest to stick them on an MDF board or similar. The
camera has to be mounted on a tripod, and adjusted in a way that the
film plane of the camera is parallel to the plane of the artwork. The
great advantage of digicams is the possibility to control everything on
the screen. You adjust it so that the sides of the picture fit exactly
in the frame sides of the screen, perhaps a little "extra" that you can
cut away later with "GIMP" (or the software you prefer) and do some
additional fine-tuning.

Another very simple way i practised some years ago with an older camera
in the same weather conditions was just to put the prints on the ground,
stand over them and hold the camera tight in the neck strap. The results
are not "professional", but good enough to be published in an English
newspaper, shown in the link with a reduced resolution for the
respective forum (even the original solution is only 3.1 MP, a digicam
from 2001!):

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Message 4
From: Anna Huskey
Date: Sun, 10 May 2009 00:19:05 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38846] Re: Drawing tutorials
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Thank You Dave
The drawing tutorials are great .
Anna Haulenbeek Huskey
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Message 5
From: Amanda Miller
Date: Sun, 10 May 2009 12:51:26 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38847] Re: images for online sales
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Thank you for all the information about photographing/scanning prints. Now
I have several ideas of what to try for better photos.

Maria, I received your book as a birthday gift (it was on my wish list), and
I'm enjoying it very much!

Amanda Gordon Miller