how can i get rid of the gradient effect when dealing with photo's?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by helsinkilegend, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. helsinkilegend macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2006
    hi, we are taking photographs of paintings which are mounted on walls. every time we take a photo more light appears at the top of the painting than at the bottom creating a gradient effect. so when we place our images into photoshop, is there a tool that we can use to eliminate this lighting effect? we have tried using the gradient tool to overlay a gradient but it does not have the desired effect.

    any help or advice would be appreciated.

  2. TJIrwin macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2006
    London, UK
    You could apply a gradient mask to the picture and then play around with the curves and such until you have the right balance across the photo.

    Not tried it but in my head the logic adds up! I may well be talking nonsense though :D
  3. j5uh macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2007
    buy some lamps and adjust lighting as needed.
  4. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2003
    Is your camera parallel to the painting's surface? If the paintings are hanging at an angle but your camera is straight then you will get reflections. A tripod might help you to match your camera angle with the surface if that is a factor. You might be able to have an assistant hold a large piece of mat board or cardboard to mask the light falling on the painting's surface. Depending on where you are shooting this may be a problem tied to the fact you may be prohibited from using extra lights or strobes.
  5. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2003
    Montréal (Canada)
    The best solution would be to use 2-3 large softbox to get an even illumination. I recommend softbox because I guess you cant use flash, else you would already have done that...

    Best setup would be to use a tripod centered in the middle of the painting and use a lens that isnt too wide, else it will deform the corners of the painting. Then get an even source of light on both side of the picture. Shoot at F/11-F/16 and you should be fine.

    If the paintings are very big and you dont have enough room to move back ... good luck!

    I worked at a museum a few years ago and the problem wasnt lighting, it was color correction! Matching the color of the painting was an insane job (that I was happy to not be involved with!).
  6. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    This is why people pay lots of money to have their artwork photographed.

    It is VERY difficult to photograph works of art, be it 2D or 3D and still capture what it truly looks like in person.

    With paintings, you need lots of light, but ONLY soft light. Which in a gallery setting is usually impossible.

    And you need to match the film to the temp. of the light (ie indoor/outdoor) or your colors will be all wrong.

    Hopefully you are shooting digital so you can shoot, tweak and reshoot as needed.

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