What is Art?

What is Art; is one of those difficult questions. How many times have we been in a museum or gallery and thought, “is this really art”? I had a friend once ask me, while touring a gallery if a piece was really considered art and I told him yes. Art is in the eye of the beholder. Just because something is not quite our taste doesn’t mean that it is not art.

Most recently I had an artist ask me to photograph her painting works. I reluctantly said yes, because I had never done anything like this, but since I am always up for new challenges. I told her that I would take one of her pieces photograph it and if she liked the end product I would continue and complete the order. Well, I received the first picture and I was a bit surprised, as I found out that she was painting marijuana plants. Not that it bothered me, but she was kind enough to ask me if I was offended by it.

After a little research, I decided to try my hand at it. Since, I was not going for a bokeh effect, I decided to stick with my 50mm prime lens, because it is the sharpest and fastest lens in my arsenal. Some people online recommended using flashes with umbrellas. I wanted a little light, but it needed to be even, so I opted for my Yongnuo Airs and positioned them at the 2:00 and 10:00 o’clock position. I hung the picture at eye level on neural colored wall and used a tripod with the camera at eye level to the middle of the painting. Since I’m a little anal sometimes, I made sure to perform a white balance sample, due to the different temperatures using the LEDs.

The pictures turned out nice; unfortunately I had my work cut out for me in Photoshop. See the artist painted them on a canvas and then wrapped them around a frame, so upon zoom you could actually see the bend of the picture wrapping around the edge of the frame. Of course the frames were not straight either and there was a slight bow in the middle. Nothing a little skewing and cropping wouldn’t fix. Plus she signed them before she wrapped them, so her signature was cut off when she went to upload them in Etsy. Originally, she thought that was how the image looked but upon a little examination she discovered that she needed to sign afterwards. I did fix that in Photoshop for her, by the way.

To make a long story the client was pleased. I asked if she would be so kind to write me a review and of course, she said she had to wait till she saw one of them printed, before doing that. Well, I a few weeks later, I had the opportunity to see the pictures printed and I have to say they came over very nice. The paper was fairly think and the texture on the print was an added bonus. And she left me a nice review, which I was happy about.

I hope I have not bored you too much. I had a lot of fun writing this one like all of my blogs. I trust I have given you some valuable tips to think about, before planning your next shoot. It’s not all bad, just be clear and informative, it will save you a lot of headaches. Remember nothing is set in stone and there is not a perfect formula, so go out and have some fun.