Many of you have seen this painting before. It is 30"x40" gallery wrapped canvas (staple-less) in acrylic. The first layer of paint is black, then I dry brushed a layer of acrylic pearl. The other paint which what poured, dribbled and flung also had a bit pearl acrylic blended in. I call this painting Considering Pearls. You can imagine the difficulty I have had in photographing this surface with all of the reflective paint. The image above was taken without a flash. On my computer it looks pretty good, but it is darker than the actual painting and the colors are not as vibrant. I also hand held my camera which is heavy, so I may not have been as still as I could have.
Now I have a new strong tripod and a flash diffuser. The photograph below was taken in the same location with the same natural light conditions. I used the white diffuser (there are also a green and a yellow) over the flash to spread that burst of light about. Clearly the tripod held the camera more steady than I could. The photograph below is the result:
These came out very different, although I still do not have the lighting right for these reflective paints. The diffuser seems to create a darker edge to these large canvases with that burst of light (although not glaring) towards the middle. The edge of this painting does have a bit more of the black appearing through the pearl, however it is not as pronounced as this shows it.
So an exact image this is not. I think it shows some of the details a lot better, however. Do you have ideas about photographing these highly reflective surfaces? Do you think I need to purchase a very expensive, adjustable flash for my camera or do you think a couple of lamps would do the trick to adjust aside from the camera?
I love working with these reflective products (including the heavy clear glazing), but I feel I do need to be able to photograph them better.
I do highly recommend a good tripod (even if you have a light camera). I also feel I will make very good use of this flash diffuser, although I wish it had of worked better for this particular painting. Maybe it is a matter of the size, so I will keep trying and keep sharing what I learn here. Please let me know your thoughts and suggestions on this subject, though.
I also wanted to let you know I will be doing a very special Conversation soon with Dianne McNaughton from Cape Town, South Africa. She has some beautiful and exciting things to share with us. So stay tuned for an exciting first Conversation of 2009!
6 hours ago