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Thank you to Judy Rogers who supplied these guidelines for taking photos of artwork with your phone. 

Most mobile phones can be used. Normally all have some limited editing options. Use auto function.

Judy Rogers ‘Franchise’. Watercolour and ink on paper, 26x36cm, 2020.                    ©Judy Rogers

Step 1

Artwork preparation for photography

Paper: secure it to a board or a flat surface (easy to transport, use removable tape, using a board reduces the chance to damage the work during photography).

Canvas or board: install a hanging device on the back of stretched canvas. For unstretched canvas and canvas board, the best is to secure it to a larger board.

Using a grid or just a horizontal and vertical line will help to line up the camera parallel with the artwork.

Artwork photography

Lighting: photograph the artwork using daylight. I am using a wall space under my patio roof. It is not too shaded and doesn’t have direct sunlight.

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Step 2
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Taking a picture

Line up the camera parallel with the artwork, the edge of the work or the grid will help you. It takes a little time, point the camera to the middle and check for the horizontals and vertical lines. Take a few shots.

Step 3
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Choose the image by looking for sharpness, square edges and matching the original colours.

Use the cropping tool to cut away the background (if it is not perfectly square, it looks the best if you don’t leave tell-tell signs, better to cut a few mm off the edges, keep the proportions of the artwork.

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Step 4
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Use some filters (some filter corrects sharpness, brightness, contrast and colour) if the photo looks different from the original.

I used the Auto filter on the image, but decided to go back to the original capture, because that was softer and gave my Sumi-e ink painting more accuracy.

File Size

For artworks, I recommend keeping pictures quite large, particularly for social media and websites (1Mb-3Mb, 150-300Dpi).

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