After having been to the MN Horse Expo recently I now have a small mountain of photo requiring organization. It got me to thinking about a couple of lenses that I created regarding collecting and organizing your reference photos. The previous post dealt with why you should take your own reference photos. And this post highlights a few of the ways that i go about collecting reference photos.
1. Take LOTS of Pictures
Yeah okay that seems pretty self explanatory but seriously most of the time I have no idea what will be og use to me possibly years in the future. I try not to over think my photos and keep them spontaneous. Again I’m not a photographer I’m a painter. I don’t need to set up the shot in order to get a painting out of it. sometimes a painting doesn’t emerge form a photo collection until years later. My tastes change and my medium and styles change and when if I edit too many photos out as not usable, I may be throwing away a great future painting.
2. When Collecting Reference Images Take Photos From Every Angle (and i do mean every angle) Keep taking photos until you can’t think up with a new way to view this object.
3.Try New Angles Whenever I photograph a subject I try to go all the way around them. Also, often I get down on my knees to try new angles. Yup, even in public places. I usually don’t mind humiliation when on a quest for new images to paint.
4. But Be Sure To Avoid Photographic Distortion (you know bulgy eyes, tiny little body) The best way to avoid distortion is to not be too close to your object of interest.
5.Take Detail shots The other thing I do when collecting painting reference photos is I take loads of detail shots. Close up or macro images of eyes, ears noses anything that I deem significant at the time. While these will probably never be the whole completed painting they provide information that might be lost of the wider shots.
6. Be aware Of Your Lighting. When taking photos outdoors I have found that the best light occurs in the mornings and evenings.
Both mornings and evenings the light is warmer in color and often with a yellow cast. Also the side lighting allows for greater drama with lights and shadows.
For more information on collecting your own reference photographs and how to organzie them please visit these lenses.