Kapunda Community Gallery 

Rococo header

< Go back one page 

How to Submit Photographs of your Artwork for the Web Site

Taking photos of paintings under glass and keeping reflections to a minimum,
Click here:-

Taking photographs in daylight for a more natural lighting look

Photographs should be sent in their original size and not edited at all. In other words a file straight from the camera.
This will generally be quite a large file, several megabytes in fact.
But it is much easier to straighten or crop a large image and not lose the image quality.

Many times a photo with a file size of about 30k - 50k is submitted (great for a quick download) but being far too small to make a decent image. It also does not allow for distortion correction by me, a process which whittles the file size further.

Any images that are seriously fuzzy or out of focus should not be sent.

Take 3 or 4 photos of exactly the same piece of artwork. That way there’s a chance one of them may be a really good one.

Taking a photograph of your painting or other artwork:
After the paint is completely dry, take your painting outside on a sunny day (actually a diffused light dull day works well and doesn’t wash out lighter colours). The natural outdoor light is much better than anything indoors.

Find a wall, or any place really, where you can prop up your painting so that it stands at an angle to suit your tripod height. The painting should be at 90 degrees to the line of your camera lens (see line drawn in picture below).


I’d suggest using a tripod (or a box) with your digital camera to make sure that you’re taking perfectly steady shots. Tip: use the timer setting in the camera so that at the time the photograph is taken you are not touching the camera, tripod or box.

When you take the photo, remember to tilt the camera slightly down (and if needed tilt the painting) to match the angle of the camera. You may also need to lower the tripod. This will help to minimise distortion of the original image. Never have the light behind you unless it is high, as this will produce a shadow on the painting.

Many people have trouble with their artwork looking like it swelled up (also known as barrel distortion). That’s an issue with the camera lens.


The solution is to use the “zoom” on your camera, and then back further away from your art. This will create a more natural amount of depth to the photo and keep those edges from bulging outward.

Be sure to fill the viewfinder of the camera as much as possible and then check to see that all the edges of your work are parallel with the edges of the viewfinder. You’ll want to especially avoid these types of photographs:


Both of those distortions (Trapezoid distortion) come from the camera not being dead centre to the artwork and not parallel to the plane of your painting.

Take several pictures because it won’t always be as easy to tell on the viewfinder whether or not there’s any distortion. Once your images are up on your computer, you’ll be able to see for sure which photo is best.

Look with a discerning eye for any variation in light across the painting. Shadows even faint ones will show up in the photograph. This also applies to light being reflected from a coloured surface like a wall. This will tint the lighter colours in your painting.

With paintings under glass, either take your photos before framing or make sure you only have side lighting. You can use a mirror (or lights) to side light a painting. Always look hard in the viewfinder and make sure you cannot see yourself or the camera reflected in the glass. The best angle of light to your painting under glass is 45 degrees.

As above, always zoom in a little with the camera lens to remove barrel distortion (common even in expensive camera lenses at wide angle settings).

Kapunda Community Gallery Inc. - This web site designed & updated by Eric S. Clarke 11/12/2018 (10:50pm) KCG Inc. © 2006 - 2018 All Rights Reserved