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How to Photograph Artwork for Printing on Canvas

Tips and Tricks for the Beginner

Maybe you have a child’s artwork you want to preserve by making it into a canvas print, or you have artwork of your own you want to print on to canvas, here are some simple tips to help you take good quality photographs of that art.

Child's art work

Using the Right Camera

DSLR set up for shootYou need a good quality camera for this. Surprisingly, the camera on your smart phone may well do the trick.

The flagship phones of well known brands such as Samsung, iPhone & LG ship with high quality cameras that are superior to many point and shoot cameras and are even replacing DSLRs for some people.

Great lighting

You can photograph your art outside, however, make sure it is a cloudy or overcast day and keep out of direct sunlight.

You can also photograph inside. Diffused lighting is best rather than directly spot lighting the art. Light up the whole room if possible. This way you are less likely to have glare or shadows on the art. It’s also best to avoid using your camera’s built in flash as this will almost certainly cause glare.

Avoid light sources that will introduce unnatural colour tints to your artwork such as florescent or halogen lights. LED lighting close to daylight temperature can now be bought off the shelf at your local hardware store or supermarket and these can work well.

Many phone cameras, point and shoot cameras, as well as DSLRs have white balance settings that allow you to set and check how the colours are being reproduced as you shoot.

It also pays to avoid shooting framed artworks with glass over them which will result in reflection. It’s worth the effort to remove the art from the frame for shooting.

Composition – Parallel, Centred & Steady

Make sure the camera lens is parallel and centred to the artwork. Otherwise the art will end up distorted.

Keep it steady; use a tripod and time delay if your camera has them. This will mean there is no movement of your hand to blur or distort the picture.

Hang the Art

Attaching canvas print to wall
Hang the artwork against a blank wall. Some people believe a black wall is best and some believe a white wall is best. What they do agree on is that the wall should be blank.

Rather than hanging the art on a picture hook on the wall (which will result in the picture having a very slight lean to it), velcro it flat against the wall. Use a velcro that can be removed without damaging the wall.

Fill the Lens but leave a Boarder

Get as close as you can to the artwork, but leave a boarder around it. This will help you check that the photograph did not distort the picture shape. Crop the boarder from the final photo using a computer programme, or Eziprint can remove it for you.

With your camera phone, avoid using the zoom to compose your shot, shift the camera position to find the ideal framing.

If you’re using a DSLR with a kit zoom lens avoid either end of the zoom to minimise distortion, there is generally a sweet spot somewhere mid range – shoot some test shots and check them on your desktop computer.

Photo, Check, Photo, Check

Take 3 or 4 photos and then check them on your camera and then on a computer with a larger screen. If something is not quite right, alter the lighting or whatever the problem is and then photograph again.

Sometimes you will have a glare from a light or a shadow from something that will spoil the image but you don’t notice it until it is enlarged on a screen. Repeat until you get a photo that is as close to the original artwork as possible.

What next?

Send it to Eziprint and we will turn it into a lovely canvas print of your artwork that you can hang on your wall and enjoy for years.


Browse our wide range of canvas print sizes and formats »


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