This is part three of my posts on photographing paintings. In the first part I covered gear, in the second, photography setup and technique. In this final post I'm going to go into my workflow in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
I thought it might be more expedient to capture my onscreen work flow using Snagit to record each step. So, for the first and not the last time this blog is going full multimedia!
And, most importantly my approach to dealing with specular highlights:
BTW, specular highlights are unavoidable using the type of setup that I've outlined in these posts about photographing paintings. I've heard of many different approaches to the issue of specular glare caused by a glossy painting surface.
Some of the better ideas I've heard are:
- Photograph outdoors in the shade preferably on a cloudy day
- Point your lighting upwards with extensive baffles so that the light in the room is diffused.
- Use polarising film over your lights and on you cameras lens.
I've had limited success with photographing outdoors in the shade and none with diffusion setups. The polarizing film over the lamp sounds promising but I've not been able to acquire it out here in New Zealand. It's maybe a good idea but I suspect ultimately not worth the effort.
Either way those little specular glints can be super distracting. So, I make the effort to manually remove them using the process I've recorded in my video. It took many years of trial and effort to find a way that was semi automated yet still retained all the painting's fine detail. I'm happy to share it now with my interested fellow artists.
A bit about "Woodland Path". This scene is based on a photo I took on my last trip to England. There are lots of trees overhanging lanes there. I took a bit of a different approach than my usual on this painting. I started with an initial sepia sketch as I always do but for the color phase I did a fairly bold block in. Later after that dried I went over that with dark paint in varying degrees of transparency and tints. Finally I did a bit of glazing. Over all I'm happy with the result and with the different subject matter.