Jo's Web Wizardry

For this months’ Web Wizardry article I will be providing a summary of some great blogs and websites which provide advice when photographing artwork. It is such an important element of presenting our work, often with decisions resting on the quality of these shots.

Next month, Herts Visual Arts will be hosting a photography workshop. The aim of the session will be to improve photographs of your artwork - perhaps more professional images for the Open Studios brochure, your HVA Gallery pages or improvements for your own websites/ CV etc.

Galleries, art fairs and all manner of opportunities open to the artist will require images as part of their application procedure. With organisers unable to see original work as part of this process, quality shots, with great composition and effective lighting are essential.  However wonderful your work might be, without good photography to it justice, you are doing yourself a disservice.

Back in June 2012, I offered some top tips when photographing your work to share online. It is worth taking a read of this article to recap on some of the common tips you can follow to instantly improve the quality of your images.

Here follows a number of great articles which can act as a great starting point to review photographs of your artwork and consider where improvements can be made:

  • In the article How to Photograph and Edit your Art for your Site, the Abundant Artist offers some tips and advice on ‘trying to find the right light, angle and time of day to photograph your art’. He considers the importance of using natural light, with some great comparisons between indoor and outdoor lighting.
  • Emptyeasel.com explains that ‘taking a good photograph of your artwork is a crucial step in the process of displaying and selling your art online.’ They recognise that ‘online viewers will only be able to judge you as an artist by the digital images they see—so you will always need high-quality photos of your art in order to sell your work online and be taken seriously.’ In Camera Tips for Photographing your Artwork they offer some great practical tips for the setup of your camera before you begin composing your shots.
  • ArtistsAndIllustrators.co.uk offer some great advice when presenting your work online. In the article, How to Photograph your Artwork, Scott Burdick explains the importance of filters and discusses the variety of equipment that can be used to create the perfect shot.
  • The Online Gallery, Light, Space and Time explain that they ‘see a lot of submissions by artists that have photographed their paintings and due to their sloppiness, the end result simply does not translate into what the artist originally had intended’. Their article, How to Photograph your Art the Right Way offers some great advice from the perspective of a curator seeing all manner of artists’ photography which they consider for their Gallery. They remind us that ‘you are competing with other artists that are sweating over this aspect of presenting their art, as they know how important it is.’
The HVA Photography Workshop

The workshop is open to all HVA members but spaces are limited, and being offered on a first come first served basis. The deadline for registering is 12th March 2014 so hurry to book online and reserve your place.

One of our members, Murray Freedman has kindly offered to run the workshop. Murray works as a commercial photographer and graphic designer - his work can be seen at www.fcdesign.co.uk and at www.emeff.me

by JO ATHERTON

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