Shooting Better Slides

When you send slides to galleries and competitions, you want them to be the highest possible quality so they garner the kind of attention your artwork deserves. Here are some criteria to shoot for:

  • Color quality. The color visible in the slide must match the color in the original work, especially if the slide will eventually be reproduced.
  • Maximum size. Artwork is rarely proportional to the image area of the camera lens, so make sure the longest side of the artwork–excluding the frame—fills the longer edge of the image area.
  • Plain background. Place a solid-colored backdrop—not a distracting object or printed background fabric—behind the artwork.
  • Squared up. The surface of the artwork needs to be exactly parallel to the camera lens. If it’s not, you’ll create a distortion known as parallax, in which the artwork appears to be narrower at the top or bottom, or one side seems shorter than the other.
  • Clarity. The images should be sharp and in focus.
  • Proper lighting. A well-lit, properly exposed slide shows no sign of glare or “hot spots,” and isn’t overly light or dark.

If you’re unable to create the best quality slides, hire a professional who has the knowledge and equipment to do the job right. And keep your files well-stocked by ordering duplicate copies when you’re having the originals processed.

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