Hi All From Ontario, Canada -- Looking for Guidance and Help

Discussion in 'New User Introductions' started by coastalinkstudios, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. Hi there all. I'm from Ontario, Canada and me and my partner are starting an e-commerce store to sell her artwork (prints and originals of drawings, paintings, pours, etc.). The name of the store is coastal ink studios and we are on Etsy. This is not a plug for the store however and if you'd like me to remove the mention of the store name I can. The photos we currently have up on Etsy are not of high enough quality to make prints and I would personally prefer higher, more consistent photos to display the artwork anyway.

    I have literally 0 experience with anything. I am, however, a good learner. Anything I have gathered about lighting, cameras, printing, colour, photoshop, etc, is all due to my submerssion in this topic in the past month or two.

    I am looking for either direct help with my issue, or some direction to good articles or posts that will help me understand what I need to know to be able to photograph various types of artwork from 5"x7" to 24"x30"... in the future I may need to photograph bigger but I will deal with that as an outlier possibility later.

    I'll provide my equipment/setup information below. Please be aware that I am doing all of this on a budget. I have made purchases that I feel are worthwhile in value (Good printer, good spectrophotometer, good paper, decent camera, etc.). Where I could, I took cheaper options (hence the free lights of good value and cheap home made diffuser).

    If you can provide solid help I would very much appreciate it.

    If this is the wrong place for this sort of thing please let me know and I will move my post.


    I have aquired (for free) 3 lowel lights and stands (Lowel Omni-light) that produce continuous 3200 K light.

    I also have a lowel DP light (bigger version of the same thing).

    I have yet to need to diffuse the light but I'm sure I'll need to and my current plan was to use grease-free paper (parchment paper) as it has a high heat resistance and diffuses light well.

    I have considered also using outdoor light, but I don't have a good wall that I feel gets even lighting... I could try shooting directly overhead but I'm worried the light will either fail to be consistent picture to picture or will be brighter on one side than the other.

    - I have a Canon Rebel T5i camera and a basic tripod with the ability to level (the bubble).
    - I am utilizing a gray card set I got from Henry's with little success to white balance (I've had better luck doing it by eye)

    Camera Settings
    - I don't honestly have a good grasp of this
    (I have to use one of the 4 modes that allows me to shoot in raw though as I convert it to Adobe RGB in photoshop (I am aware that there is a mode in the camera for Adobe RGB but I prefer to have the images in RAW regardless))
    - ISO, F-STOP, Shutter Speed, etc. -- All of this is confusing to me and I will require significant education before confidently choosing these on my own
    - The only setting I know for sure is that I set the timer on the camera for two seconds so I don't inadvertantly shake the camera while I'm snapping the photo. (I take my hand off and 2 seconds later it takes the photo after any vibrations die down)

    - I have the whole suite of creative cloud apps including photoshop and lightroom (No RIP software)

    Color Control
    - I use a colormunki photo for color control of the various screens and the printer

    - I have an Epson Surecolor P8000 Stardard Edition printer (8 Ink System for up to 44" Roll Printing (Ultrachrome Pigment Inks))

    - I use a 44" roll of Hanehmuhle Fine Art Paper (308 gsm Photo Rag) --> matte rag paper that is relatively white (no OBA)

    - I am currently using the space I have in the basement and shooting at night with the windows and other ambient light sources off/covered
    - I am using a black foam board on the wall behind the prints/drawings.

    - I'm using a 20-45 degree set-up for the lights at a distance of about 5 feet from the wall
    - The camera is positioned between the two lights and cetered on the centre of the painting
    - I use the bubble to centre/level the camera and ensure that the painting/drawing is level with the wall
    - White balance is still posing an issue as I tried utilizing the custom WB on my camera but it didn't work (still too yellow).
    The lighting is very yellow, but I find that once adjusted for WB (I usually pick a pure white/gray I know is pretty close in the image), it looks almost exactly the same as the test shots I shot in natural lighting outside. I would like a more consistent way to do this though preferably with a one-size-fits-all WB since all my photos will be shot in near identical lighting.

    Thanks for taking the time to help!

    Best Regards!
  2. Assuming you are genuinely interested in learning basic photography, there are quite a few tutorials available on PN's Learn menu. That menu also contains helpful business tips. Also PN's Photography Forums include two categories that you may find helpful: Business of Photography and Beginner Questions.
  3. You are most welcome. In my initial response, I forgot to mention the No Words Forum. You should take a look at the various threads posted therein. Each one calls for PN members to submit images that fit a specific topic.
  4. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    welcome to pn.

    also no words is a great way to inspire you with theme based shooting. i like seeing how others creatively interpret themes. put your spin on it?

    hope to see you there?


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