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A Guide To Taking The Best Possible Photos Of Your Artwork


photographing artwork with your own cameraYou need good quality photos of your artwork either for use on your website or for print reproduction. 

With most modern digital cameras it is quite easy to take fairly good quality photos of your artwork.

For particularly large, or particularly important pieces, you might consider going to a professional photographer to get your work photographed. 


You will need bright soft lighting and natural daylight is perfect for this, an overcast day is best as it avoids any glare from harsh sunlight. 

So set up your artwork outdoors if possible or near to a large window indoors.

Setting Up Your Camera

To make sure the image is sharp it's important that the camera doesn't move while the image is being taken. The best way to do this is by using a tripod, you can buy a perfectly adequate one for less than £20. Alternatively choose a flat level surface to rest your camera on.

Setting Up Your Artwork

Use a clean simple background and make sure your artwork is parallel with the lens of the camera. If the artwork needs to be on a slant to stand up, then tilt the camera to match the angle.

Move the tripod close enough to the painting so the viewfinder is filled with the image of the painting

Taking The Photo

It’s important to make sure that your flash is turned off, this avoids any hotspots of lighting when the flash is so close to the artwork. If indoors turn off all room lights too as artificial lighting can cause an undesirable colour cast on your image.

It’s a good idea to zoom in just a little as the normal focal length of some digital cameras when first switched on can be slightly wide angle and this can cause some distortion of the image.

To get the best possible image quality from your camera you need to use the highest image quality setting. Use the camera settings menu to select 'sensitivity' and choose ISO 100 or 200. If you're not sure how to do this, then just leave your camera on 'Auto Mode'.

If possible use the camera’s self timer to take the photo to keep your camera perfectly still, doing this creates a delay between when you press the shutter and the image being taken and avoids camera shake spoiling the image.

Accurate Colour Reproduction

calibration stripsThe colour and exposure of your image should be as close as possible to your artwork. 

If you want to check how accurate your image is for colour and density then including a colour guide and grey scale strip when photographing your artwork will help enormously to determine what adjustments might be needed to match your image to your artwork. 

You can order Kodak Color Separation Guide and Gray Scale (Q-13) strips from Frame 24 


print with calibration strips


Photo Editing

There are lots of photo editing applications for editing your image - useful tools for checking the image is in focus, cropping the image and also making any required colour and density adjustments. 

Adobe Photoshop Elements contains most of the features of the professional version of Photoshop, but with fewer and simpler options. It will do the job of image editing very well and costs less than £100.

Pixlr Editor is a free online photo editor with a professional touch ... A very capable set of tools which rival professional programs.

Not Sure If Your File Is Suitable For Printing?

Want to know if your file(s) are suitable for printing to a certain size on your chosen media? Use our FREE Image Report service.


For more information or advice on any of our fine art printing services please call Adrian or Thomas on 0117 952 0105.



Verified Returns & Exchanges

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Description of Policy from Merchant:

Redcliffe Imaging takes pride in producing only the best quality prints. For this reason, you can order confidently knowing we offer a 30 Day 100% Money Back Guarantee*. If contacted within 30 days of the original order date, Redcliffe Imaging will either replace or refund any print or product that is deemed unsatisfactory by the customer; except in the cases when Redcliffe Imaging expresses concern to the customer over image quality issues such as poor resolution or potential tonal problems with the image prior to printing. (*Prints must be returned to us in the original packing and undamaged)


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Description from Merchant:

Redcliffe Imaging uses the latest imaging equipment and profiling technology. We print with archival quality pigmented inks onto various media including canvas, fine art and photo-base papers. The inks are UV stable and offer a lifespan of 100+ years. Printing at 1200 dpi using a 12 colour LUCIA archival pigment ink system gives you superb colour accuracy, excellent colour graduation, expression and accuracy with the broadest colour gamut in its class.

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