Iíve browsed the archives until Iím more confused than ever.
Iím hoping a couple of you, that have years of experience shooting Fine Art, can advise.
Iím an Artist; I paint mostly large wildlife, rainforest and reef paintings that edge on realism. I paint detail, by large I mean mural size, 4íx5í being my smallest and a 10íx24í being my current largest on canvas.
With the new technology I can offer my clients full size reproductions. Itís a wonderful new avenue for me, but stumping me with surprising new problems! I live in the Caribbean, yes few drawbacks there except for the availability of resources, extreme shipping cost and the quality photographers have all gone digital! The problems before 9-11 were difficult enough. Shipping rolled canvases to the USA to be shot was a costly headache but an option (along the way hoping they were not damaged). since 9-11 that is mostly out of the question, and now my even-larger paintings (too large to roll) are in demand. Touch wood, that is not a complaint, I enjoy the challenge, though now I am faced with shooting my own work. An old dog learning yet another new trick, which I know I am eventually capable of, but it does take time away from what I get paid to do, so I need to be efficient in my learning and in the tools I buy. Iíve ordered books from Amazon and hope they cover the basics of ďhow toĒ shoot and lighting etc., but the mail is slow and Iím impatientÖ more my clients are. I need expert advice.
In the past I had my paintings professionally photographed to a 4x5 transparency. Back then my re-prints were at max - a 4íx5í Giclee on Canvas, at 400dpi. Iím now looking at extreme enlargements of large detailed paintings, how far can I push the 4x5 format before it disintegrates? My 10íx24í oil painting is in panels, that I can shoot individually, providing I can re-create lighting consistency between the shots. For an example: Can I shoot a 6íx 10í painting and reproduce that to a 6íx10í size with a 4x5 transparency, at a minimum of 300dpi, or do I need to jump to the 8x10 format?
Iíve looked through the forum for a recommended equipment list, from the camera up, for shooting artwork, and have gleaned info on lenses but not much else on this subject, at least that I can understand. I will be shooting the work indoors unless it is a true on location mural. I do have the option of shooting my paintings outdoors if it will produce more accurate color?
Going by what Iíve read here in the ForumÖ
Iím currently looking at a buying a Tachihara 4x5 or if advised an 8x10 with a 4x5 reducer when needed. Are there big advantages to this system? The cost is almost double.
210mm G Claron lens, Kodak EPN Film, Kodak Q14 chartÖ
Iím still clueless as to the rest, light meter, lights (not tungsten or fluorescents, but what?) Polarizing filters, Polaroid film type 54, and the Polaroid holder 545 (will that work with this camera?) I need advice down to the tripodÖ
This is a costly new bite for me to chew on; in both time spent and working within a tight budget. I do want to cut time/cost corners where it is possible. Iím considering buying the camera new because of the shipping cost and insurance. (Fed-Ex is well over $100 each way and nothing else in insurable, I donít want to be testing and returning items). I see less risk ordering used for the other equipment, am I wrong?
Truly what I donít know would take too much space to even ask. Iím hopping some of you wonít mind recommending a basic equipment list. Any suggestions, on quality reliable sources for buying used, is also appreciated. Iím certain I will need things I am not aware of. Iíve had basic experience with my 35mm and thatís it.
This is a long and involved request. I appreciate any professional advice offered.
If it is not appropriate to answer this long of inquiry on the Forum, I can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org