My Camera Is Wrong

I take pictures of whatever I’m working on. I take one every time I finish a painting session. That’s a lot of pictures and eventually I might put some of them together into an animation. I started doing it when my daughter had a painting destroyed by the post office. It looked like they ran over it with a forklift. Insurance paid for it but her customer wanted the painting not the money, so she re-painted it. The images she had of the painting in various states were invaluable for the re-paint. I don’t know if I could have done that.

When I take a picture it always looks brighter than the painting. This is because the camera automatically sets itself for the darkest and lightest parts of the image. With my camera I could do this manually but I just can’t be bothered. Unfortunately I often start with the darker areas of the image so the histogram that the camera generates to base its brightness settings on is skewed and makes the image appear too bright. In order to make the picture look like the painting I have to adjust it in Photoshop. This is easy to do but I’d rather not because it’s not going to look right on anyone else’s monitor in any case. I usually just leave it as is.

The final image is a little different. If I were selling my work I’d want the on-line image to match, as closely as possible, with the original. This is difficult because no matter what I do I don’t know the settings on anyone’s monitor. So every monitor will render the painting differently. So far my daughter hasn’t had any trouble so maybe there isn’t as much of a problem as I’m imagining.

I could improve the situation by exposing the camera for the light in my studio. The image should then look like the painting, on my monitor, in my studio. I still don’t have any idea what anyone else’s monitor settings are but it would standardise the error. I think I’m just going to continue taking pictures and adjusting them the way I do presently. I’ll adjust the image to make it look as much like the original as I can. If in the future I have a problem I’ll deal with it then.

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