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The Quick & Easy Guide to Photographing Your Artwork by Roger Saddington

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Photographing metallic paint

Accurately photographing the texture of two-dimensional artwork with metallic surfaces, such as gold paint or gold leaf, is a constant thorn in photographers’ sides, even for professional museum photographers. These surfaces tend to look flat and monochromatic on film. The paint looks more like a dull, light brown than a lively metallic sheen. The solution is simple but does require a bit of creativity and some careful adjustment to the process you’ve learned.

First, get another halogen lamp. If you’re using two lamps for your standard setup, buy a third. If you’re using four lamps, buy a fifth. If possible, buy a lamp of lesser strength than the ones you’re already using.

Set up your workstation and lamps as you ...

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