How to coy artwork in detail

 

The most critical part of reproducing your artworks is the digital capture.

Without a great file, that is colour-matched to your original, the chances of a great reproduction are slim.

Copying artwork is a skill like any other and simple owning a good camera won’t cut it, just like owning a great oven doesn’t make you a great cook!

We have copied over 16,000 artworks since 2001 and have dealt with every conceivable challenge – here’s some of the types of art we’ve copied…

  • High gloss 2 pack acrylic artworks
  • Pastels, too delicate for a flatbed scanner
  • Works so textured they are up to 5cm thick in places.
  • Artworks with mirrors, glitter, fabric, gold foil, gemstones, crystals and diamantes
  • Curved bowls
  • Artworks painted on bedsheets
  • An 8 metre x 1.5m rolled up paper artwork, The artist had never seen the full piece until she saw our file!
  • Stretched canvases as small as 10x10cm up to 2 x 4metres
  • Framed artworks behind glass
  • The artwork to the right built into a custom arched timber frame weighing around 40kg – it was almost 130cm high and 170cm across!
  • If you can get it in our door, we can copy it.

Our goal is to capture your artwork in such a way that almost anything is possible, from cards to wallpaper murals.

This means that we strive to create the largest possible file when photographing your artwork to allow you to have it printed as large as we can print, which is 1.5m. This is quite easy with works larger than 60x60cm however sometimes smaller artworks don’t like being enlarged so much – it can open up the weave or texture of the substrate and make it look wrong so we discuss this with you.

So, how do we do it? It’s a combination of the following…

  • The very latest camera technology – the 42mp Sony A7RIII with Pixel Shift Sensor creating a file equivalent in quality to a 168megapixel camera
  • The best lenses that money can buy, costing thousands of dollars each.
  • A huge camera stand designed to allow the camera move up and down while staying perfectly in line with the art.
  • Banks of custom balanced lighting fixed to create a constant, consistent, colour-balanced and controlled light source
  • A moving wall to allow the art to be moved in front of the camera
  • A vacuum wall for paper artworks – this holds them perfectly flat while we copy them
  • A fully colour-calibrated workspace using the finest monitors available, Eizo.
  • 40 years of professional photographic experience, eighteen of it just in photographing art!
  • Do we know our stuff? YOU BET WE DO!

The example shown here will give you an idea of the quality.
copying original art - David Hart sample
The original artwork was 60 x 90cm. We captured a file that could make a 100 x 150cm print without any enlargement of the file! The amazing detail you see here is at the full size of the file we created.

BE CAUTIOUS CHOOSING A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER TO PHOTOGRAPH YOUR ART
Just like there are specialist doctors, copying art is a specialty and while there are some great photographers out there, great with weddings, portraits and landscapes, they are not art copy specialists and without the right studio setup, they cannot match what we do for you.

Digital Capture Pricing

Capture options include…

  • Capture, Proof and File – You get the lot – digital capture, custom proofing (we supply a 30cm print for colour matching) and the full file in various formats.
  • Capture and File Only – If you don’t need any reproductions but need the file for other purposes then in this option we photograph/scan the art and provide a screen-matched file in several formats on USB
  • Discounts apply when you bring in more than 3 originals at a time.

Once we’ve copied your artwork, we will always supply you with a web-optimized version for promotional use. We also provide a pricing schedule that shows all the sizes available on both paper and canvas so you always have current printing prices at hand.

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Can you supply your own digital files? Yes you can, but be aware of the issues…

There are so many variables that can cause colour issues that makes photographing your own artwork a challenge. However the choice is yours and we will do our best with the files you supply us. Here are the ideal file specifications…

Basic Workflow and File Requirements –

  • Capture your original image in camera as a RAW file (NOT JPEG).
  • You must be working with a correctly calibrated monitor – they are not correct straight out of the box. We recommend you purchase the proper calibration equipment if you wish to prepare your own files.
  • Set Photoshop or Lightroom for the AdobeRGB 1998 colourspace
  • Open your image as a RAW file, adjust as necessary and save a MASTER FILE as a TIFF file.
  • Be sure your files are saved at 300ppi – incorrect PPI may result in incorrect print size if we don’t detect your error.
  • Don’t try enlarging your image beyond the capture size – leave that to us.

A typical day in the life of capturing art in all shapes and sizes. This piece by Scott Christensen is 4×1 metres which we capture using a complex process to ensure even lighting across the whole piece resulting in an exact copy of Chris’ work.

To learn about how we work with you Click Here.