How to photograph a wool painting?

You’ve just created a beautiful wool paining, framed it nicely, and you want to share your creation with the world via a social media post on Instagram or Facebook. So, you take a photo and … it doesn’t look good.

Most people take a photo of their creation framed and covered with glass, but want to show it in their home hanging on the wall or standing on the table. And when they take photos with the glass they usually encounter a problem with the reflection of themselves or surrounding objects. In this case, the artwork loses it’s charm and it gets hard to see the real picture with all colors and feature of the texture. So, what to do?

The problem has a simple solution – take a photograph without glass. This is the best way to keep the volume, texture, softness, tenderness, and mystery of your masterpiece. But you should be very careful in handling your artwork without glass. The freshly made picture is very fluffy and the wool fibers are very mobile. Unintentional treatment of painting might cause harm. The best way to take a photo of the wool painting is lay it down on the table, stand on the chair, and take a photo above it. If you would like to take picture hanging on the wall or standing on the table, it better wait at least two weeks after you’ve placed the painting under the glass. During this waiting time, the wool fibers lie down and stack together.

If you would like to take a good photo of your artwork:

  1. Choose location with bright soft lighting. Harsh direct lighting can cast shadows, create reflections and shift the color of your artwork. A large window can make for a great light source.
  2. To get the best possible image quality out of your camera set the ISO to 100 or 200 depending on the camera model.
  3. Use a microfiber cloth to clean any dirt or smudges off of your lens.
  4. To make sure that your image is sharp it’s important that the camera doesn’t move while the photo is being exposed. The best way to do this is to use a tripod. If you don’t have one, you can use a flat level surface. When you prop up your work to be photographed it’s important that it’s parallel with the lens of the camera.
  5. To take a photo use a clean simple background. It’s best if your work is the only object in the photograph. Leave only a small amount of space around the edges of your artwork in the frame. This will maximize the resolution you’re getting out of your camera.
  6. It’s important to make sure that your flash is turned off. When you’re using window light a flash would overpower it.
  7. Another thing about light is that it can have a lot of different tones that your eye adjusts for easily, but a camera has trouble dealing with. The way that a camera compensates for this is using white balance. The goal is to adjust the white in your image to match the white that your eye see. If the auto white balance in your camera is tinting orange or blue try using a preset for your lighting environment, which in our case is daylight. When you take photo indoors make sure to turn the lights off in your room. They have their own color and won’t mix well with your window light.
  8. It’s helpful to use the self-timer to keep your camera perfectly still. This creates a delay between when you press the shutter and the image is taken.
  9. After taking your first image there’s a few things you’re going to want to look for. If your image is too dark or too bright use the exposure compensation feature in your camera to correct it. The color and exposure and your image should be as close as possible to the original artwork.
  10. Finally make sure your image is in focus. If it looks soft or blurry it’s likely that the autofocus made a mistake or that the camera moved while the photo is being taken. Take several shots of your art even if you think you got it right the first time.
  11. Don’t start packing up your gear until you’ve reviewed your photos on the computer. You may notice the problem you couldn’t see in your camera and you may need to retake the photos.
  12. Use one of applications for processing your images.Download the files to your hard drive and choose the best image and open it up. Use the cropping tool so that you only see the piece itself and make sure to double check for any visible borders around the edges. Zoom into the image at 100% and carefully look it over checking for anything that wasn’t there in your original artwork. Use the retouch tool to remove any problem areas. Sometimes boosting the contrast slightly can help your art look more true to life but be really careful not to overdo it. Because a great image can be ruined quickly by too much editing. Save the image to your hard drive as a jpg and be sure to leave the compression at maximum quality.