So, I’m trying to figure out how to photograph paintings and get them closest to true colors. One professional artist I spoke to said that she brings her paintings to a print shop and they have some fancy-dancy machine with color gnomes that work very hard to get exactly the right colors. Too expensive. Another artist said that she started by setting up an expensive studio in her home with special lighting. Then one day she took a photo of a painting outside on a cloudy day. She liked that better and it was much simpler. I think option number 2 sounds like a winner.

Here are some attempts to capture a painting in a photo…

1. Photo on cloudy day near an open french door against white paper:Image

2. Photo inside with a bright construction lamp about 4 feet above the painting (I had to play with colors and lighting in Picasa to get anything close to true colors):Image

3. Photo on sunny day just inside an open french door (Portrait setting on the camera):Image

4. Photo on sunny day just inside an open french door (Auto setting):Image

5. Photo on sunny day taken outside in the shade (Landscape setting); Used the one-click lighting adjustment in Picasa to edit the photo):

I think the last photo is closest to the actual painting.

Which do you think looks best? (Without being able to compare to the actual painting…)