Thursday 21 August 2014

Photographing art quilts: Part 3

Photographing your own art work is such a valuable skill to have.  Hiring a photographer can be expensive, time consuming and sometimes quite inconvenient. With a few simple pieces of equipment and a little time and patience you can become a pro at photographing your own art work.

In part one and two we looked at how to set up a temporary photography studio (see article here) with equipment most of us have hanging around the house.  In part two we looked at how to set up your art work and take the photo. (see article here)  Today we are going to look at what happens once the  photo is loaded onto the computer.

Step three:  Down loading the photos and editing

Make sure you have your art work in good light next to you to use as a reference
1.     Download your photos onto a computer. 
2.     Open a copy of the photo of your art in your photo editing software.  I use window live photo gallery for simple editing or Photoshop elements for more advance editing. Windows is sufficient if the photo is well taken. Always use a copy to edit.
3.     Straighten the photo using the straightening tool. 

4.     Crop the art work using the crop tool.  I try and get as close to the edge as possible. 

5.     Manually adjust the exposure.  Windows:  I do this by going into adjust exposure then pull up the left dark pointer on the graph up to where the graph lines begin and bring down the right light pointer down to where the graph lines end.

6.     In Photoshop go into enhance and then into adjust lighting and then into levels.

Then move the left arrow to where the graph line starts.  Then bring the right arrow across to where the right graph line finishes. (below)

Sometimes you need to play around with the middle arrow to get the exposure right. Keep moving it until it looks right.

7.      Adjust the colour settings by pressing adjust the colour automatically or by manually adjusting the colour.  Keep referring to the original art work for a guide.

Windows: Adjust colour temp/tint/saturation.  Just increase and decrease in tiny increments.

Or Photoshop:  Go to Enhance-and then scroll down to adjust colour.  There are quite a few ways to adjust colour on your art work.  Have a play and see which one works the best. I like to use hue and saturation and adjust colour curves.  Keep playing until it looks right

8.     I am happy that my art quilt looks as close as possible to the original. Now it is ready to be saved. 

9.     Save it as JPEG or in the format you need for competition entries.  I generally use JPEG as it such a versatile format. Go into file and scroll down to save.  Then save it under JPEG in the format box.

10.                       The finished photo

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