Step 2: Light the Artwork


The lighting you use when shooting your artwork must evenly illuminate it for the best quality images. Sculpture, jewelry, and other dimensional pieces also require that the lighting reveal the form and texture of the work.

The basic techniques for photographing flat or dimensional artwork are simple and straightforward, with just a few lighting elements. First, though, I’ll show you how not to light your art.

One of the big mistakes many artists make when photographing their artwork is to use the on-camera flash to light the artwork. But no flashing…and here’s why.


Click on the video (above) to watch the lesson. Open the Lesson Guide (button below) for a transcript of the video. It has space to make notes and a worksheet if you download and print a copy.

The short worksheet at the end of the Lesson Guide will help you with turning off the flash on your camera. Complete the worksheet with the camera and manual in front of you.

Open the forum discussion (button below) and reply with your questions about using the on-camera flash. If you’re having trouble turning off the flash, reply in the forum with the camera model and describe the problem. One of your fellow students or I will try to assist you. I encourage you to reply with any other questions or comments about the lesson, too.

Once you’re finished, use the button below to mark the lesson complete (click it again to mark the lesson as incomplete). Use the buttons at the bottom to go to the next lesson, the previous lesson, or the lesson index.

Five Weeks to Great Images Program

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