How To Photograph 2D Artwork

Photographing 2D artworks.jpg

What’s important when photographing 2D artwork is to capture the true colours of the work without distorting the content at a resolution that is high enough for multiple use.

Being a Darwin art photographer I have photographed a wide range of art works and in particular Aboriginal art including traditional barks, carvings, paintings, prints and weavings.

With a simple studio setup and care to photograph with even light across the surface of the art piece it is relatively easy to create professional 2D art photographs.

To begin with hang the artwork on the wall at a height that will align the absolute centre of the artwork with the camera lens.

Place the camera on a tri-pod level with the centre of the art.

Ensure the camera will focus on the art without being wide-angle (over 5omm). Being wide will distort the image.

Use two studio flash with umbrellas. Place the head of the flash at the same height as the camera and centre of the art work. The lights must point at 45 degrees to the art.

If you have a light meter, meter the corners and the centre of the art to ensure the light is falling evenly on the piece. Adjust the position of the lights to create an even exposure.

Through the lens line up the edges of the art with the frame of the view finder.

Take a shot and revue the photograph.

Art photography tips

  • Set camera to manual (M)

  • Hang the artwork on the wall

  • Place the lights with umbrellas at 45 degrees to the artwork

  • Align the lights to the centre of the artwork

  • Place the camera on a tripod straight in front of the artwork

  • Align the camera to the centre of the artwork