Shooting Your Artwork – IPhone Xs vs Canon EOS 5DS

Okay, it’s 3 am and for our updated website I’m editing over 300 colour swatches of our new artist’s paint lines from Canada. A really fun thing to be doing on a Saturday night…….right? Anyhow, it’s the perfect opportunity to do a follow-up to my last blog about shooting your artwork with a smartphone.

Earlier today when the light was absolutely perfect, I began shooting the small paint swatches from the High Viscosity Artist’s Acrylic Line. Initially I thought I would use my IPhone Xs thinking to myself, it’s a website. I’m not printing the images. They’re presented at 72 dpi. How much difference will it really make. Well…..see for yourself.

The first thing that I noticed was the resolution. Do you see the difference a professional camera and fine art lens makes? The next thing you will notice is the colour clarity. The colour swatch shot with the professional camera has true colour. The IPhone shot has this blue cast, which even in Photoshop is difficult and time consuming to fix.

Now something that you won’t see in this article is the maximum size that you will be able to print these shots. 300 dpi is the industry standard for print media. The IPhone shot at 300 dpi is 10″ x 13.5″ the Canon EOS 5DS at 300 dpi is 19″ x 29″ inches, more than twice the scale. If you really want to reproduce your work on a large scale, you really need the bigger image file to work from.

So there you have it. Beautiful print media results begin with high resolution images.

Shooting Your Artwork with a Smartphone

Shooting your artwork is a daunting task and best left to a professional if you want to achieve high quality archival pigment prints. Resolution and image size are limited if you use a smartphone but if your budget is tight and you are going to shoot your own work, then here are a few tips.

  1. Shoot your work outdoors on an overcast day.
  2. Use an easle and ensure that your artwork is at 90 degrees, not leaning forward or backward. I use a small level on the surface of the artwork to be sure it’s flat and not leaning forward or backward into the third dimension.
  3. Use a tripod to hold your smartphone. Your phone should be parallel to the artwork, not leaning forward or backward. This is very important to avoid image distortion.
  4. Fill the lens space with your artwork and shoot.
  5. Clean crop the edges of the captured image and adjust the exposure if necessary.
  6. TaDaaaa You have a digital image to make prints from.