Again, we photograph a Macbeth Color Checker and computer match the known control colors to achieve “perfect” capture. The next challenge is to get the camera aligned with installed artwork to make sure it is square. We sometimes measure the work to get the exact dimensions so the proportions of the photographs match the proportions of the actual art. These icons installed in a church in Burlington, WA have the added challenge of shiny gold leaf embedded in the images. Lighting control is critical. “Gold” is an elusive “color” so we send proofs to the client to obtain approval before producing finals in various color spaces for different uses. In this particular case we made some photos of the artist with her work.
The Chihuly Glass Museum directly adjacent to the Seattle Space Needle contains some spectacular works. They have done an excellent job of lighting the works too… So almost any camera can get a decent picture if you know how to expose for a black room and get the color balance correct. However, these are made with a top level camera exposed correctly, and the best lens Canon makes.
The first thing I do is set up some controlled light(s) (usually studio strobes… Battery powered strobes are too unreliable and are only used when there is no alternative). Second we make sure the lights are not causing shiny spots, or leaving dark areas. Then we photograph a Macbeth color checker in the same exact light as the painting. I have a computer program which matches the colors (all the colors are read not just neutralizing the gray scale) on the color checker with known values for those colors and adjusts whatever the camera’s sensor “thinks” the colors are to what they “really” are. Then we get the exposure perfect. Alignment needs to be perfect. And then I make files for the client’s needs. Files for printing presses, or photographic printing are made with different color spaces than files for the internet. Ideally, we will know exactly where the files are to be used and have access to the proper ICC profiles which we can apply to the files to “lock” the colors. Each device, paper, and use has its own ICC profiles. Proofs are made and sent to the client for approval before we make finals.
This is Stained Glass Art from a Catholic Church in Seattle, including their new organ (photographed with a light painting technique).
Part of a series on art work for Dennis Warshal Arts… steel sculptures…