I use a tri-pod and a DSLR camera to take progress photos of my art. This photo shows how I try to fill the viewfinder with my art. It also shows my messy studio, but that’s the subject of another post!
Bev asked about progress pictures. This post is for her and anyone else who is keeping an art blog and wants to know how I do this. I use my camera to take pictures and I use my iPad and the Motion Pics app for time-lapse videos.
This post is about taking pictures and making a slide show with them. I’ll talk about time-lapse in another post.
- Digital camera (I use a Nikon CoolPix L810 camera, but any DSLR camera works well)
- Tri-pod (You can do this without one, but if you’re working in low light, a tri-pod is a great way to prevent blurry shots)
- iPhoto or other photo storage software (I use iPhoto because it came with my Mac)
I set up my paper or matboard on my easel, then position the camera on a tri-pod in front of it. Then I go to the camera settings menu and select “white balance”. There is an option called “Preset manual” that I use which will automatically tell the camera to focus on whatever is in front of it, in this case, a piece of white paper or white foam core that I prop directly in front of the artwork area. Measuring the white balance keeps my pictures from having a blue or yellow cast to them due to ambient light sources.
This picture shows how I use the “white balance” settings on my camera to eliminate color casts from my photos.
I use a focal length (the telephoto option) that’s about midway between the widest angle and the closest angle, about 50 mm, so that the picture isn’t distorted and the sides of the paper or matboard are parallel to the sides of the viewfinder. I try to fill the viewfinder with my artwork. I take a picture after every step in the painting process.
Once the painting is done, I upload all the photos to iPhoto. I delete the photos that are blurry and then export the rest to a folder on my Mac. I export them as jpeg files, high quality, large size. With these settings each image is about 160k, so the slide show loads quickly.
To make a slide show in WordPress on my blog, I click on “Add Media” at the top of my new blog post. I upload the photos, then with them selected, I click “Create Gallery” in the upper left corner. This takes me to a new window where I can add captions under each photo and rearrange the order of the slides. I select “slide show” under “Gallery Settings: Type.” Then I select “Insert Gallery” on the bottom right, and voila! I have a slide show. It doesn’t look like a slide show while I’m editing but if I select “Preview” at the bottom I can see how it will look when the post is published.
I’ll share how I make a time-lapse progression on a later post. Hope this helps, Bev! Let me know in the comments if I left anything out.