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How to Photograph Artwork

January 01

5 min. to read

Photographing artwork has a few secrets, which you need to know in order to reveal its true beauty.

Online galleries and social media have made it easy for modern photographers to excel and display their work. However, due to the increasing demand in photography, quality work is needed more than ever.

Digital cameras are no less than a wonder of technology as they can focus automatically, set the presentation, effortlessly zoom in and out, and give you extraordinary color options.

Regardless of everything a digital camera provides, it can't make your work shine on its own. If you wish to capture quality photos of your art then you must contribute a little time figuring out how to utilize your digital camera to photograph a piece of art as well as how to edit it with a professional software such as  Luminar, which packs quite a powerful punch when it comes to professional editing.

Here are a few tips on how to photograph artwork:

Finding a Suitable Position

When you photograph a piece of art such as a painting or a piece of jewelry, you should first look for a position or angle that does justice to it.

In most cases, placing yourself right in the center and pointing straight works well. However, if you plan to photograph it from the side or an angle then make sure that the piece doesn’t look distorted.

Click a few pictures to see if the details of the art are visible, if not then your best bet is to align yourself to the center.

Filling Most of The Frame

One important factor to consider while photographing art is to ensure that you fill a majority of the frame with the artwork. Leaving around empty spaces will not only take attention away from the artwork, but also miss out the fine details of the artwork.

You can play with the zoom function on a DSLR and see how much zoom fills the frame and more importantly, what looks good. You might also need to adjust the focus of the camera to set it to maximum clarity. A tripod stand can be very helpful in this regard.

Focus And Contrast

The focus of a camera depends on the contrast of the object that is being photographed. If the artwork happens to have sharp colors then your camera's autofocus may not give the ideal outcome. It will continue switching between focus points.

In this case, you could change the autofocus feature to manual focus and search for focus setting that blends in with the contrast. When you get a hold on the perfect focus setting, take the photo.

Pay Attention to Light

In most situations, the auto white balance feature saves the day. However, not when you are clicking artwork. Photographing a piece of art in the presence of unbalanced light source might confuse your camera and you as well.

Here’s where you need to turn off the auto white balance feature and depend solely on your skills and finding out the perfect shutter speed of your camera for the specific object. Slow shutter speeds are generally suitable for this type of photography, however this largely depends on the environment.

How to Photograph Artwork | Skylum How-to(2)

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Team Skylum


Our team of passionate photography enthusiasts at Skylum has been committed to assisting you in discovering the world through your lens for over a decade. We're dedicated to providing photographers like you with easy-to-use tools and valuable resources to help you capture your vision and produce beautiful photos. Our articles are filled with friendly tips, industry insights, and inspiring stories from other creative individuals in photography. Together, we can help you grow your photography skills to new heights. Join us on this exciting journey of exploration, creativity, and growth.

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How to Photograph Artwork | Skylum How-to(14)