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Photography Directory

8 Tips to Capture a Public Artwork with More Ease and Fun

public art photography tips

Capturing public art projects in the camera may be daunting for some photographers. But it doesn’t need to be so. If you take into consideration a few simple tips suggested by some experts, you’d find it much easier. Here are some.

Interpretation of Artwork

A photographer while photographing an art project should always remember that the photographs should look like an interpretation of the artwork. It should be remembered that the viewer may be experiencing the work for the first time through your photographs. For example, if there is a sculpture, you should note how the space is used to site the sculpture, while the space also involves light, people, architectural elements etc. These factors also depict the scale of the piece, which isn’t seen when the piece is photographed individually.

Tell a Bigger Story

Use wide-angle lens and panoramas. This will let you get much more in the frame. This means you won’t need to walk far away from your subject to capture it in full. In case of having a DSLR, using a wide-angle lens is a good idea. But if you don’t have one, you can even rent a lens from a camera store.

However, you should also remember that there are chances that distortions happen at the borders of a wide-angle lens. Zooming in a little can rectify this.

Distracting Elements should be Avoided

Your job is to celebrate the artwork and present it in its best form. Therefore you should avoid competing or distracting elements. Instead you should involve significant parts of the surrounding that complement the artwork.

Capture Interactions

While capturing the artwork, capture also the public interaction on the artwork. Interaction can be viewing the work or engrossing with the space where the work is placed (a park, a public square etc.). Thus your images will show how the work brightens a public space.

Choose Various Times of the Day

Typically the best times of the day to capture photos are sunrise and sunset because the light is softer and breeze is lighter (as you don’t need to worry about adjusting shutter speeds for rushing tress unless motion blur is what you’re looking for). Usually there is no traffic at these times; so, these are the ideal timings if you want to focus on just the artwork and the environment.

But if you’re looking for dramatic shadows, choose the middle of the day to shoot as shadows are the most remarkable with the sun being high in the sky.

If light is used by the artwork as a main material, use a camera that will provide you the best low-light images and enable you to display the wonder of the artwork at night.

Use a Tripod

A tripod is quite essential to avoid camera shakes and to obtain crisp photos. It will also allow you to capture remarkable shots in low light or with a high aperture (which refers to longer shutter speeds).

If you don’t have a tripod, make sure you secure your camera on a platform or other stable object or even hold it against a wall to make it stable.

Various Viewpoints

Your skill of photographing an artwork is seen when you give the viewer a sense of being actually present there. You can do this by capturing the work from various viewpoints and positions, letting the viewer a feeling of walking around the artwork.

Make sure your photography of the artwork as accessible as the artwork itself.

Remember to Capture Details

Public artworks are typically impressive in their own scale, but the minute details behind them are worth highlighting. Make sure you highlight the colors, textures and other exceptional qualities of the artwork in your photographs.

Hope these tips will help you in capturing a public artwork with more ease and fun. All the best!