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Probably the single most important thing you can do to sell your artwork is to post good photos on your auction listing. Many of the photos I see on eBay have glare from flashbulbs, focus problems or poor color. The method that has worked best for me, whether taking digital photos or film photos is to shoot artwork outdoors. You will find that outdoor light is the best, even on slightly overcast days, and you won't risk a flash glare on your work.

Here is the setup I like: all you need is your camera and something to prop up one edge of the artwork:





ABOVE: The Outdoor Method

Use mid-morning sun, and let it strike the art at a slight angle 
Shoot so that your shadow does not fall on the art. 
Tell your dog to stay away. 




Does that help? Here are a few more tips that will help fine tune your photography skills, whether working indoors or outdoors:

Try to use diffuse natural sunlight. A room with large bright windows on a sunny day is excellent. But avoid having sunlight directly on your subject work. 

If using artificial light use multiple indirect light sources. Do not use a flash mounted directly on the camera. 

Photograph paintings un-framed. 


If an artwork is small enough to fit on a scanner, scan it: the quality will be better than most photographs. 


Try to position your artwork securely on a flat surface such that you can photograph it straight on (at right angles). 


Use a tripod for your camera if you have access to one. 


Position your camera at a distance from the artwork such that the art fills most of the viewfinder without cropping any of the sides or corners. 


When photographing paintings, check that the edges of the painting are straight (parallel) with the sides and the top/bottom edges of the viewfinder. If they are not straight then your camera is not positioned squarely in front of the piece, or your artwork needs to be tilted up or down. 


Focus your camera as carefully as possible. Out of focus images are more difficult to correct than exposure problems. (On manual SLR's use a slightly higher F-stop if possible, to increase the depth of field and minimize the chance of focus problems.) 


Many of today's smaller automatic focus cameras cannot focus at a close distance. Check the manual or instructions for your camera to see what the minimum focal distance is. 


If you have a camera with manual exposure controls, take shots of each piece with slightly under and slightly over exposed settings in addition to shooting at the correct exposure. This will give you a variety of results to choose from.



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