Friday, November 19, 2010

The Bright Side - Up a Ladder

Two of my favorite paintings this year have been the hardest to photograph. Homage and Portals are each 14 x 48 which means your wide angle zoom lens can add curvature that is not really there. And if they are not exactly level on the easel or your aim not at exact center your rectangle becomes a trapezoid. To complicate it all the smooth nature of the sky shows every subtle sheen of the light. So the camera is on a tripod, the sun past the windows of the studio, etc.

Naturally the photographs I took of these two paintings in June were lost in the computer debacle that I just experienced. Ergo they had to be rephotographed. Then the tripod broke. I seriously considered making do with just the progress photo of these two. Then I saw the ladder I had gotten out to take them down from the studio walls. I looked at the studio floor below the ladder and no streaks of sun, but would it be light enough that I could hold the camera steady enough?

The two on the jute rug
To hold the camera out over the center of the pair meant I could not lean far enough over to use the view finder or the viewer in back of the camera. I just held it out over what seemed to be the center and aimed down. I took about 20 photographs and picked the one which showed the squarest outline. Photoshop did the rest.

As I get into painting bigger and more irregular proportions I no doubt will revisit this arrangement. I do have a ladder which may be safer for this now that I know this technique works. This was my 6' tripod but I have a 13' one too. I guess some good always comes of misfortune. I didn't even get ladder shadows on the paintings.



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