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Black-and-White Drawings and Paintings

    Photographing Black-and-White Drawings and Paintings


    Key Points to Remember

    • Watch video: "Basic Camera Settings, Focus Tips, and How to Avoid Camera Shake."
    • Match the camera format to your art. Shoot vertically for tall pieces and horizontally for wide pieces.
    • Keep the art completely flat, vertical, and level. Make sure the camera is not tilted and is completely level. The camera should be aligned with the center of your art. This will help to avoid distortion.
    • Show 100% of your work. Don't crop out anything and leave a small amount of space surrounding your piece.

    • For a detail shot, move closer and/or zoom in with your camera. If you need a very close detail, try the camera's macro function (flower icon) and refer to the owner's manual.



    The overall setup for black-and-white is very similar to photographing color work. The real difference is in the camera settings. The lights are set up on a 45-degree angle and are equidistant from the artwork. Be sure both the camera and the artwork are perfectly vertical.



    Camera Settings

    Don't use your camera's black-and-white settings. If you are using soft white light bulbs, use the preset white balance for tungsten. (It looks like a little light bulb; check the owner's manual for your camera.)


    Custom White Balance

    If you prefer, you can use a custom white balance. Consult your owner's manual and set the camera for a custom white balance.


    Make sure you bracket your exposures!

    Bracketed Shots



    Correct Exposure

    Correct Exposure