Photographing paintings

The set-up.

The set-up.

This week I had a professional photographic studio (Industrial Foto) come to photograph my latest paintings for a catalog. It was interesting to see their set up, and the results are so much better than what I can do with my Panasonic Lumix LX2. It was very expensive though, for a little more money I could have bought a new entry level DSLR. The photographers used a Hasselblad 555 ELD with an Imacon ixpress digital back. They explained that the cameras need to be upgraded less often than the digital processors, so this way they can upgrade each separately. The whole thing was hooked up to a Macbook Pro and everything was done from the computer (checking the light and releasing the shutter) with the proprietary Imacon software.

Industrialfoto running the shoot from a Macbook

Industrialfoto running the shoot from a Macbook

They used artificial light and some of the photos came out with a yellow tint. I can color correct them myself but I would have preferred to work from the RAW camera files rather than the TIFFs they sent me.

For the internet the high-resolution photos really don’t make much of a difference, here is a side by side comparison between my little Panasonic and their system:

The Hasselblad is on the left, my Panasonic is on the right.

The Hasselblad is on the left, my Panasonic is on the right.


  1. I’ve got the Nikon D90 and would highly recommend it Marc (I also have the LX2 like you do). The D5000 is kind of the inbetween with the D60 on the lower end. Like the D60 I do not believe the D5000 has a lens motor. Therefore you’re stuck either paying for lenses that have one internally or manually focusing. The D90 does have a lense motor.

    If you’re shooting artwork, I’d go with a 28mm (or 30mm) and a 50mm with f/1.8 or better yet f/1.4. I’ve got Sigma’s in these lengths just for that purpose. Taking the 50mm into a museum is great because at f2 or wider and at ISO400 you can get great, semi-closup shots with ambient light.

    I know you have Photoshop but I’d definately recommend Lightroom 2 as well. If you’re shooting in RAW, it can’t be beat IMO.

  2. Thanks for that Darren. I must say I’m not thrilled with my LX2, the noise in low light is terrible (though it works great outside and I love it’s size).

  3. “…the noise in low light is terrible”

    I guess the LX3 has better low light capabilities.
    Love the ‘widescreen’ format on the LX2 though.

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