Why All Artists Should Take a Photography Class

One thing that I have become painfully aware of the last few months is that I am not a photographer. I have read tips and tutorials on how to photograph art, but my photos never seem to capture my work.  Take this piece, for example –

Bloodwood Pendant, copyright Christina Kester 2011

This is a bloodwood pendant with a tree design done in pyrography. I took about 10 pictures of it and most were completely unusable. In this picture (the best of the bunch), the background is washed out and the pendant is too saturated and lacks the rich complexities of the wood. I can fix some of these errors in Photoshop, as I did here –

Bloodwood Pendant, copyright Christina Kester 2011

I adjusted the levels of the photo and I played with the saturation of the pendant itself. It is a better picture, but it still falls far short of the actual piece. If I wanted to sell this piece online (using one of these photos), I would have to make a disclaimer that the photograph is not representative of the piece. Otherwise, I could end up with an unhappy customer, since the pendant is darker, richer, and has more depth and luster than in the photograph. For now, it is back to reading how-to’s and maybe even a basic photography book.

In short if you want to be a successful artist or crafter, it is a really good idea to learn photography. It will save you a lot of time and headaches down the road.

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