Digital FAQs

In the August 2009 issue of The Pastel Journal, Maggie Price offers advice on how to get the results you want out of the juried exhibition experience. She also compiles a list of Digital FAQs. Here’s a little sample:

Q: How do I set the resolution on my camera? I don’t see anything about 300 dpi.
A: Set your camera to the largest file size or highest-quality setting
possible. You’ll find directions for doing this in your camera’s manual.

Q: Should I use the ?ash on the camera?
A: You can try it both ways, but generally if you have good light
(shooting outdoors in mid-day with indirect light is often best) you
won’t need the flash, which can create an uneven lighting effect and
cause more problems than it solves.

Q: When I look at the image on my computer, the painting is kind of twisted—larger at one end than the other. How can I ?x this?
A: That’s called parallax and you need to correct this at the time you
shoot the image. Set up your easel so the painting is perfectly
vertical, then set up the camera tripod so the camera is positioned in
the center of the image. Look at the screen or viewfinder and make sure
all edges of the painting are perfectly square and straight with the
edges of the photo area. If the image is skewed or twisted, adjust the
camera until it is square with the plane of the camera lens.

Q: Should I include the mat?
A: No mat or frame should be included in the image, and the painting
shouldn’t be shot under glass. When you bring the image into your
computer, you’ll crop to the edges of the painting.

Q: What do I do to the image once it’s in my computer?
A: First, make a copy of it so you have a backup in case you need to
return to the original. Then, working on the copy, crop to the edges of
the image. If the image is rotated slightly, use your photo editing
software tool to straighten it. If the image is too light or too dark,
adjust it to match the painting.

To read Price’s full treatment of the topic, pick up the August 2009 issue of The Pastel Journal.

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