Thursday, November 22, 2012

True Colors

As I have shared before, the year 2012 is the year that I became an art collector.  It has been an amazing experience!!  Who would have guessed that collecting beautiful works of art would be so rewarding?  In all, I have bought 11 pieces of art this year, most of them from blog friends that I have met on the internet.  I have met none of the artists in person, but I feel that I know them through their sharing on-line and I feel I have an extra special connection to them through owning a piece of their art..

I thought I would share a couple of things that I have learned from the art-buying experience.  First of all, amost all  of the sellers were very professional and made the art-buying experience a dream.

There were a couple of bugs for me.  One was an artist that painted almost an exact replica of the painting I bought because a "loyal collector" was disappointed that they had missed out on the painting.  When the artist posted the painting I thought "oh there is my painting!"  only to realize it was not it and, the one posted was just slightly different and I liked it better than the one I bought!  I hadn't even received my painting in the mail yet.

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Another bug was in two cases the painting was quite different in looks from the view I had of it on-line.  Now I wish that I could say that the actual paintings were so much better in person.  But, unfortunately that was not the case.  The artists both offered return policies, but I just didn't want to hurt their feelings.  The result of the disappointment was that these two pieces never got framed and hung up to enjoy.


So today I am following up with my post that talked about my camera class.  I wanted to share a new gadget that I think is going to take a lot of the guess work out of photographing my art.

The gadget is a photography color card.  It has these color blocks on one side, and a neutral grey on the other side.  This one that I bought is very inexpensive and is only the size of a business card; perfect for when I am photographing my small pieces of art.

Here is how I use the card.

I set the card up next to my art that I am photographing.  Then when I edit my photo I can use the card to get the colors just right.  Note:  You need a photo editing program that has a white balance feature like Photoshop.  Well, I don't have Photoshop and so I did some exploring and found that the free Google photo program Picasa does have this feature.

Here is how it works. 


After downloading the Picasa free software you can open a photo and this is what you will see.




If you look on the left side there is a symbol that looks like a sun burst; half black and half white;  my mouse arrow is pointing at it.  When you click on it it will open the tab for light and color adjusting.  Look about half way down and you will see an eye dropper.  Click on this and move it over to the color card in the photo and click the white square.  This will recognize what is supposed to be white in the photo and will color correct everything based on that.

Because I find the other features of Picasa not as detailed as my other photo program, I save this image and then open it with my other program for finishing touches such as cropping etc.

Here is an examples of the difference using the color balance card has made.

Before color correction
After color correction














You can see what a HUGE difference color correction made.  I am actually embarrassed that I posted this painting in the original format.

I hope this is helpful to some of you who may be struggling like I was/am with photographing your art.   We may only get one chance to gain an art customer.  We have to do everything we can to keep them a satisfied one.  As we know, people talk and with today's world-wide internet, a whisper can go around the world.  My point in writing this was not to complain, but to show both sides of selling/buying  and how disappointing it can be when we don't get what we thought we were purchasing.  Using the color card corrects our photos no matter the color of the light source we are using for our photography.

 One thing I notice about successful artists is that they work very hard in every aspect of their business to be extremely and impeccably professional. Consistently!   A high bar to immolate.


Lighting is also an important element in getting a good photo.  I will talk about that in a later photo.

3 comments:

  1. Great post Karla,to the point and very useful information!! Thankyou for sharing.

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  2. Thanks Karla for sharing... both some of the bugs of collecting and the color card. Photographing art work is very tricky and so important when trying to represent accurately. I may give it a try.

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  3. Love this blogpost and have already ordered my color card! Can't wait to take some pictures and try it! Thanks so much for the info!!!

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