Copying Artwork Made Easy


As artists, we can appreciate the value in having our creations reproduced with precise accuracy. So there’s no difference when it comes to artists of other mediums such as paintings, sketches and sculptures. At the Charleston Center for Photography, we have plenty of artists from all over who entrust us to digitally capture their work.

Here’s how I do it…

Step 1) Gather all of the necessary tools

·     Two studio lights – Elinchrom BX500Ri

·     Two light modifiers – Elichrom Standard Reflector

·     Two diffusers – Elinchrom Diffusion Filter Pack

·     Elinchrom EL Skyport RX Trigger

·     Two light stands – Manfrotto Stackable

·     Color corrector or grey card – Datacolor Cube

·     Angle locator

·     Polarizing filter – Nikon Circular Polarizer Glass Filter II

·     Tripod or camera stand – Manfrotto Mini Salon 190 806

·     Non-reflective platform

·     Camera

Step 2) Place the polarizing filter and Skyport on the camera

Step 3) Lock your camera into place on the stand

Step 4) Set your lights on either side of the stand

·      Preferably at 45 degrees

·      Both lights should be equidistant from the camera and the artwork

·      The lights should be modified with a softening sock or filter to reduce glare

Step 5) Use your angle locator to measure the angle at which the artwork is sitting on the copy stand, then adjust your camera to the exact same angle

·      Ensure your camera is horizontally level too

Step 6) Set your color checker or grey card in the frame and take a picture

Step 7) Remove the color balance tool and shoot the artwork

·      Be sure to adjust your polarizing filter to accommodate for the light bouncing off the various mediums

When doing copy work I always shoot RAW files. This allows me to export TIFF, PSD or whatever type of file my client wants. I use Adobe Lightroom 3 software to process the RAW files and also Adobe Photoshop CS5 to make any fine-tuning corrections.

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Your polarizing filter isn't going to do a thing unless the lights are polarized as well.