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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Not To Be Taken Lightly

Nikon L120, Macro setting, Dell Jasc Paintshop quick fix adjustment.
This photographic reproduction comes the closest to the actual drawing; the pencil marks are not fudged.
Disregard the gradation of gray that tints the drawing. That is due to
my laziness to set the drawing and the camera up properly.

Nikon L120, Smart Portrait Setting, Jasc Paintshop Quick Fix adjustment.
Pencil lines are fudged.
Nikon L120, Text Setting, Jasc Paintshop Quick Fix Adjustment
This setting has possibilities given  proper camera set up.

Text Setting, quick fix, less exposure, less vividness, Jasc Paintshop.
Pencil lines are grainy.

All of these camera settings look relatively the same to me.  I had to look closer to determine which
showed the drawing, Beethoven At The Beach, as close to the original as possible.  It's the top photo.  The pencil marks look like the  actual pencil marks

Photographing artwork is an important skill for artists to have in this era of emailing artwork to exhibition juries. It's also essential for exhibiting work in online shops--as well as for keeping records of works sold out of studio.  When you  paint from your photos, the quality of that photo is extremely important. The painting depends on the photograph being readable.  The camera and the computer software  is studio equipment that shouldn't be taken lightly. I've touched on only a few variables that need poking to get good reproductions, the images that will be either exciting or rejected.

With these duplications of the same subject under the same conditions, I am investigating the settings of my camera and the capabilities of my current photo editing software, Dell's Jasc Paintsop; it's a very old edition.  Now, I really didn't go all out.  I did not set the drawing up perpendicular to the floor. I did not set the camera on a tripod with the lens  tilted ever so slightly to take care of parallax lines.  I did not get involved in studio lighting techniques--because, after all, I was just shooting one more Thirty Minute Daily Drawing drawing.

I simply placed the drawing pad on the floor in front of the glass panel front door which lets in early morning light coming from the Southwest, pointed the lens down and made sure the edge of the view finder was perpendicular to the edge of the drawing pad and pushed the shutter button down slowly.( I like the southwest light better than the northeast light that comes in the windows in the back of the house; it's warmer, whites are whiter and not blue).

In the computer, a 2014 Dell Laptop running Windows 8.1, my much older photo software offers quick fix which corrects exposure plus Adjustments, which offers color stretch, color balance, exposure, vividness, and sharpening.  I want more.  I want to see details in the darkest areas--enhance the shadows.  I want to be able to change the background--or just add or subtract items.  So not much painting has gotten done this week; I've been reading everything I can find about Adobe Photoshop products looking for an upgrade to my old software.  Lightroom seems to be the right choice, but PS is attractive too. --And who's to know if my camera shouldn't be upgraded too? 

If any of you have input on cameras and photographic process software, I'd appreciate your comments.  Thank you.


  1. Just a quick one on the photo. Do you use a tripod? With a drawing, even the slightest movement blurrs it slightly and you lose what I think you want to capture. Aligning it up to perfect center is important also. I hope you get some great advice. I will be watching to see.

    1. Not for photographing for the blog. I publish too frequently to go through the trouble, as I explained. The art Perpendicular with the camera lens, on the tripod, about three to five degrees tilted forward off parallel (to correct For parallax lines) with two lights is how I do it when photographing for something important --like patrons. These were taken primarily to see how the settings differed in my camera. I liked the macro setting and the Text setting, which actually seemed the best. Later in the day I started in with the lady on the beach in color. There's a lot of different blues in this painting. The first couple of shots, taken this time in northeast light didn't distinguish them. The computer software corrected okay, but not quite perfect. Through all of this I am convincing myself that I must have Adobe PS or Adobe Lightroom, which I decided would be an excellent birthday gift for myself. Of course, there will be a learning curve.

      In April, there is a five day figurative and portrait painting workshop offered by The Villiage of Putney Fine Art Association, Schmid's group. I might have to have another birthday. That would be a fantastic gift.

  2. Hi Linda.
    Really, Really first class drawings Linda. I hope to reach that stage someday. All the best Linda.

    1. Thanks Victor. Keep on drawing frequently and imagine that your pencil is actually touching the figure or the object.