Tips for Photographing Artwork
1) Color (representative of original).
2) Exposure (not too dark or too light)
3) Alignment (straight-on so image is true and straight)
4) Background (none so photo shows only artwork)
Check that your camera is set at its highest resolution.
Best light is outside natural light, no flash. Mid-morning is best, mid-afternoon second. Find a sunlit or well-lit shady spot. Ideal is the artwork in the sun with the photographer and camera in the shade so there’s no shadow or reflection.
Lay small pieces (less than 10″ x 14″) flat on the ground and shoot from above. Hang or prop larger work against a steady backdrop such as a wall. A piece of white cardboard or foam core behind the painting will eliminate any distracting background.
Shoot the artwork straight on. Place camera at same height as the center of the painting. A tripod will keep the camera steady. Move the tripod side to side, and elevate until the art is square in the frame. The distance from the floor to the center of the artwork is the exact height for the tripod-mounted camera lens.
Compose as tightly as possible – without zoom – to maximize resolution and eliminate background and frame. You may also crop the photograph to edit out background or frame.
Photograph before varnishing or framing to reduce glare and shadow.
Check that the darkest details of the painting are visible and that the brightest parts are not faded out into whiteness.