Another "How to Photograph Oil Paintings?" Post!

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by johnmarkpainter, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. I have done this before and was apparently lucky the other times..... THIS time, I was
    getting a Blue-shifted glare on the outer edges of the paintings.

    The setup: Black Muslin tacked on a wall with the Paintings hung on the wall. I had two
    monolights. I tried bare reflectors, Umbrellas, Shoot-Through Umbrellas. All were pretty
    much doing the same thing. Getting the lights far away at very oblique angles (20-25
    degrees) improved it but didn't fix it. I was aiming the lights at the opposite edges of the
    painting to feather them. Another position that looked ridiculous but almost worked was
    aiming the lights basically straight at each other (GOT to have a good lens hood).

    Finally, I tried bare-bulb and moving the lights even farther away (around 8' or so). I also
    added a 3rd Barebulb sitting behind me and basically bouncing from the ceiling (luckily
    the walls were white).

    I'll have to pick up some Polarizing gels the next time I have to do this.
  2. I was shooting a Nikon SLR with Provia 100. I also shot some Digitals as lighting tests. Here is one of the more difficult ones. It has very muted tones with a very matte finish on most of it. But it has shiny thicker paint bright spots on it. jmp
  3. This one was lit with two umbrellas at about 30 degrees maybe 4 feet from the wall. I Was shooting f16 @ ISO 200 If you look at the right side just above the middle you can see a lighter Blue-ish patch of Glare. Of course you probably wouldn't notice it unless you knew the painting. jmp
  4. When you think about a painting's un-flat surfaces, and the light from an umbrella it seems obvious that you will get glare/reflections. As you have surmised, large Pola sheet filters placed over two 45` angled strobes with round reflectors is the answer.
  5. I use softboxes with no problems. Polarizers take all the life out of a painted surface. I suspect you're getting lens flare. Gobo your lights carefully. Stand with your back to the painting and look at the lens of your camera, you should see no bright reflections in the lens if your flags are set properly... t
  6. Tom,

    I will check that next time but I really don't think it was flare. It appeared to be a reflection
    of the outer ring of the Reflector...the outermost edges of each side. If I turned one light
    off, the glare on that side would go away.

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