Thursday, 6 March 2014

Photographing art - a beginner starts her journey!

Hello everyone!

One of the great and challenging things about running your own business is that you have to become a jack of all trades!

So one of my New Year's resolutions was to get better at photographing my work - giving as true as possible representation of what it would be like to have it in your hands.  This is particularly important for my mosaics as they are so 3D and textural.

I didin't want to pay someone to do it for me - for lots of reasons.  Obviously its not cheap as you are paying for a professional's time and equipment, also I often make something and want to post it straight away to see how it goes down - I'm patient with snipping but not quite so with other things!  I basically wanted to learn the skill myself too.

So after a lot of Googling and reading, I set about it and this is how I am getting on.

I already have a camera that is good enough - it takes great pics, is indestructible for holidays and being in the dusty studio and had the settings that most articles recommended for taking photos of art.  It is  Pentax Optio WG-1 - here is the Amazon link to it -

Then I needed a mini studio to get good, reliable lighting - Amazon once again came up trumps and I invested in white box with changeable backgrounds, two lights and a camera stand - link to it here -

I took pictures for you along the way as I gradually set it up, talking to myself along the way - here they are!

The foldable photo box - this one is 50cm x 50cm to accommodate my bigger mosaics - well, that was easy!
Then the two dear little lamps which I had been told get very hot, so be warned!

I wasn't sure what this was for - refer to instructions, Felicity!

Ahhhh...... the tripod stand!

Then setting it up with even natural light ...
Lamps on, white background in (velcroed) and lean mosaic up against something small and heavy (selotape dispenser!) ...
Screw camera onto tripod, get angle as you want it and... action!!
I tried all sorts of camera settings, light positions and so on - making a note of each one, as I knew I would never remember which one was which.  Then I downloaded them onto my computer, made a coffee and had a good look!

Some were awful, most OK, some not bad at all! At the moment, I think my best combo is Flower mode and Auto Macro mode on the camera, and lamps pointing at the mosaic (outside the photo box) - but it's early days!!

Here is the result of my morning's work ....
This is the best pic with my new kit ....
....comparing it to this one, I just snapped, with the same camera but no new kit!
I definitely prefer it, but know I've got a long way to go - am enjoying the journey!

Thanks for reading and any advice from you budding photographers out there, always gratefully received!

Felicity x


  1. I have often wondered about these. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience step by step!

  2. No problem, Seth - the jury is still out, but will keep trying! Thanks for adding me to your blog directory and leaving a comment!