Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Photography Challenged

One of my biggest challenges is photographing dark paintings. I'm in the habit of taking a photo as soon as I've finished. It is like my pronouncement that I shouldn't work on it any longer. The effect is that my paintings are overworked less often; I'm not tempted to go back and make extra dabs here and there. I've ruined too many paintings with continuous dabbing, so I' try to avoid fussing. When the painting is finished I immediately take a photo and call it good. The problem is that dark, wet oil paint is extremely difficult to photograph. The paint grabs every ray of light and reflects it into the camera lens leaving little dapples of white light glinting off the dark surface. I never use a flash; I try to stay avoid taking photos on sunny days and only photograph when the sky is gray and overcast. I can correct some of the speckled surface with a photo editing program, but I'm a purist and prefer not to correct. This little painting is a perfect example of the type of painting that challenges me when it comes to photography. Because the thumbail is small, it isn't as noticeable, but you can see the specks of light in the dark areas if you look closely. This one will probably be photographed several more times before I'm satisfied. In person, it is a lovely little painting, but only when it is photographed well will it be offered for sale online at my Etsy Shop, Small Impressions.
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Michelle said...

You painting is lovely. I feel your pain about photographing paintings. It's the most frustrating thing for me.

Nancy Merkle said...

Thanks Michelle--it's nice to know I'm not alone in my struggles.

Sharon Schock said...

I have the same problem! Dark paintings are definitely the hardest to photograph. I wish I had a solution! I love the painting though, it has such a fresh feeling :)

Nancy Merkle said...

Thank you for the kind words.