Photographing glass covered artwork


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jgb

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Jul 8, 2004
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#1
I need to photo inventory all the artwork paintings in my house, for archival and insurance purposes. The bulk of my artwork is glass covered which presents 3 problems....
1) I get reflections of the room from any angle.
2) I can't use my flash because of reflections.
3) My auto-focus can't focus because it sees the reflected image, not the painting behind. Manual focus is difficult as well.

I need to shoot straight on to avoid trapezoiding.

Anyone with a solution??? (Removing the glass is not an option)
 

Feinwerkbau

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May 11, 2004
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#2
Simply, YES.

Option #1:

Use TWO light sources set at equi-distance both at 45 degree angles to the artwork. The light from both sources at such an angle cancells out each other's reflection.

Option #2:

If a simple and inexpensive 2-light set-up is non-feasible for whatever reason, start thinking about using a view-camera.


Option #3:

Totally dependant on the size of the artwork...(if it is really small),

You can use reflected 45 degree light (sorry, I can't remember the technical name for this lighting technique, but it;s used for 'straight-on' macro shots of highly/mirror reflective objects like coins).

If you need further assistance, PM me. I have photographed framed paintings for catalogues before.

Please forgive my spelling errors...as my gramatical ones. I suffer from fatigue as well as alpha-dsylexia.
 

willyfoo

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Jan 18, 2002
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#3
Have a black piece of cloth with a hole cut just for the lens... as for the flash, bounce it off the ceiling.. but make sure the flash is hidden away from the reflection.

Otherwise u need slave flashes to the side of the frame or have an extension cord to move the flashes to the side.
 

jgb

New Member
Jul 8, 2004
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#4
Thanks Feinwerkbau & willyfoo

Feinwerkbau - Hadn't thought of using 2 lights. Gonna try to dig up a pair of floods and try. I will probably have to move each painting to a setup area for consistancy.

As for the focus, the paintings are at the smallest, 24in X 22in upto 56 X 40. With my wide angle I need to be about 5 feet from the painting to see it fill the frame. (rules out a Macro!)

As for your spelling & grammar, no need to apologise. I see way worse just reading e-mail from college grads.

willyfoo - I thought about a lens drape, but it would be way too large and unwieldy to use in this case. I would have to make a tent for it to work.

Any other ideas out there????
 

Feinwerkbau

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May 11, 2004
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#5
A darkened room would work just as well as a lens-drape.

I have replied you via PM.

Nitey nite.
 

Feinwerkbau

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May 11, 2004
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#6
To add, you might be better off shooting from further back at a longer lens setting to minimise barelling and pin-cushioning, unless you're using a dedicated macro lens.

This may also assist in avoiding undesirable photographer/environmental elements creeping into the picture. Wear black or dark clothing...for obvious reasons.
 

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