But Heather, you cry, you aren’t a photographer. No, you are quite right, I decidedly am not. However, a one man art machine requires some flexibility.
So I paint A LOT and I draw A LOT. Getting a drawing ready to have prints made is simple dimple, I crack out my Epson Perfection V600 and start scanning, a little work in photoshop to manage contrast correction and all is well.
Dude, you cannot scan paintings… I mean, maybe small ones, but I generally paint at 18x24in or larger and my poor little Epson just isn’t up for the task. Thus, photography.
Now, I know nothing about photography except that it’s ridiculously complicated and there’s something called RAW and that’s where I started. ACTUALLY, where I really started was with a recent boyfriend who was a professional photographer. He photographed some of my work for prints for me and oh was I delighted to have someone in my life who could just do that … but then that relationship sorta went to hell and here I was, not only heartbroken but without a photographer! So I go to Facebook and ask my friends who knows anything about cameras and what I might need to do this myself.
In enters my cousin and his generosity of spirit and wonderfulness and SENDS ME A CAMERA. My Pentax, I may call her Shirley. Shirley and I didn’t get along so well initially. There’s a lot of fucking settings and I don’t know what ISO means or what a shutter speed does. So I start reading and my head is spinning and I am stumped where to start except I know that RAW is a thing… truly I’ve learned nothing.
Finally, after months of scowling at Shirley from across the room, I decide to just to this … hell or highwater I’m going to figure it out. I sit down, pick some basic settings, start a spreadsheet to track my settings and I’m off, snap, document, change, snap, document, change. For about an hour. Just before I start to move the photos to my pc to check my work I giggle and set the camera to ‘auto picture’ … the dummy setting, the default – for people who don’t know how to take pictures. You see where this is going.
So it turns out Shirley is, by default, smarter than me – AND shooting the images in RAW gives me lots of flexibility to tweak the white balance, sharpness and texture to get the images as close to true as is possible.
AND I DID IT! That’s right! Massive success.
My studio had to be temporarily transformed for this, including the moving of four 5000k led shop lights into position to even out the lighting as best i could … and of course, lighting a 30×40 canvas is different than lighting an 18×24 but I do feel very very good about the quality of the final photos. Now I order proofs and soon, more new work launched into the world.
BOOM – this all feels amazing.