Photos of Artwork: A How To

Just for fun I thought I’d share with you how I take photos of my artwork. (Disclaimer: The photos I’m sharing here were taken with my cell phone and would not be the ones I’d submit for shows, etc.!) Since I’ve set my website up to have all the images on a black background that is how I always photograph them. Occasionally I’ll do them on both black and white backgrounds if one just really needs the white to look good. I don’t keep my photography backdrops, stands, etc. set up in the studio so I pretty much drape the black cloth over whatever I can find. Depending on the size of the art I’m photographing some creativity might be needed to get it large enough to surround the artwork. Here’s ares pictures from this morning showing both the front & back of the set up.

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As you can tell from the shot of the back this is one of those “creative” set ups since a few of the pieces were over three foot tall. As long as it works no one (normally) sees how it’s put together so who cares? I placed it up on the table so I wouldn’t be bending over so much to get the pics, plus there was more available light coming in through the windows & doors at that height. Unless it’s a late-night desperate situation I prefer to take these shots with natural window light instead of room lights or using a flash. Today was cloudy out so it was perfect conditions…not too dark but no hot spot of sun shining in to deal with.   Here is a pic of a new art piece sitting in the photo area:

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Doesn’t look too spectacular at this point but, as I said earlier, this was taken with my cell phone so I didn’t have a lot of control over the amount of light, etc. that was being captured.

One of the hardest parts of photographing square or rectangle images is to get the perspective correct so they actually look like squares or rectangles. Aiming your camera at the center of the piece and keeping it parallel with the artwork helps a lot, plus just being aware of that it’s not skewed when you shoot helps too. (Multiple shots up the odds as well!) If all else fails you can straighten while you’re making adjustments to the image with your computer, but that’s extra work so I try to get mine lined up correctly when shooting.

This final image was still on the cell phone but was taken closely to the art and then I also tweaked the lighting/color in photoshop before I uploaded it here. It’s an improvement over the previous image!

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currently untitled, mixed media art (carved wood, painted stones, driftwood, paint) on 6×16″ wood panel © Lynne Medsker

The one taken on my Nikon will be even better than this! Since this is a semi-flat (it hangs on the wall, anyhow!) piece of art with black borders on it I didn’t care that it blended right into the black background. With more dimensional pieces I try to place them with a space between them and background to help emphasis the depth and give them some separation.

So that’s that…

I’ll be sharing more new work as I get a chance, heck I’ve still got a couple of pieces from this summer I haven’t gotten on the blog yet.

Busy, busy,



Peonies – Part Two

A few more images to add from my recent photo play. This group was taken with backlight coming through the window and purposely over-exposed when I took them. Afterwards I did some digital adjustments to make them high-key, contrasty and soft.

I also did some macro, close-up images with a digital edit or two as well.

I’m patiently waiting to see what kind of flowers I’ll have to take pictures of next! In the meantime I’ll return to the up-cycled artwork next post – I promise! Lynne

Peonies – Part One

Yes, there are supposed to be a couple more posts about the up cycled artwork but I couldn’t resist sharing some new images with you. I’ve not used my camera for “fun” for a while and have really gotten into it the last couple of weeks. Right now there is an abundance of blooming peony bushes in the yard so they’ve been an awesome subject. Here are a few of my favorite images:

Next time I’ll share some that I photographed & edited to be high-key, light & contrasty. More fun!


Cloudy With a 100% Chance of Art

I finally have started on the new series of photo/digital artwork that I’ve been talking about for over a year.

"Appairation" photo/digital artwork © 2013, Lynne Medsker

“Appairation” photo/digital artwork © 2013, Lynne Medsker

I gathered up over 2,500 images that I’ve taken the past few years and threw them into one file folder so I can pick them out as I please and create something new from them. The only “rule” I’ve given myself is that in each one I need to use at least one image of the clouds/sky. Not hard to do since it’s one of my favorite things to photograph!

"Ageless" photo/digital art © 2013, Lynne Medsker

“Ageless” photo/digital art © 2013, Lynne Medsker

The other parameter I’m currently working on is that the images are fairly large file in a very vertical format. Specifically 48″ tall by 18″ wide. Of course they can be printed smaller than that but I envision them as being large when I create them!

Here’s a sample of the images I used to create “Appairiation” that’s shown at the top of the page:

web progression image

Obviously you don’t see each detail from every image but I promise they are all in there! As I continue with this series I will be posting updates…look for some again in the next few weeks!

Eyes on the sky,


Windows to the Soul

I’ve been planning on creating a new series of photo/digital artwork but just haven’t seemed to make it happen. A couple of weeks ago I moved a step closer by collecting all the images that I might want to use in these creations. Just around 2,800 or so! Yikes! I think I’ve shot & collected enough, I need to get busy! During the process I ended up sort and cleaning my digital files, which seem to grow like unauthorized weeds in my computer while I’m not paying attention. It’s not exactly one of the glamorous and fun jobs of an artist but just one of those things that need to be done. Kind of like book keeping, applications and other paper-workish items. The only good part about the digital file cleaning is I always seem to find some long-lists images that I’d almost forgotten about. This time was no different – look!

All these were part of a series of photo/digital artwork in created back in 2004, they hung in one of the first real “gallery” shows that I participated in. Great memories and I still enjoy looking at them! Most people seemed to enjoy them although I discovered through the time I showed them that there are a few people that get really creeped out by eye images. But I got a reaction, one way or the other!


Jingle Rails!

‘Tis the season for…well, some holiday inspired pics!

"jingle rails" photo, 2012, Lynne Medsker

“jingle rails” photo, 2012, Lynne Medsker

I went with a friend to the Eiteljorg Museum to view a wonderful photo exhibit a few weeks ago. While we were there we also made a stop at their annual “Jingle Rails” exhibit. What fun!!

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

The entire (large!) room was full of miniature buildings and different model train set ups.

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

Since the museum focusing on the art of the western United States most of the lovely buildings were small replicas of lodges and other gorgeous sites from that region.

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

I hadn’t anticipated taking any photos on our excursion and was caught at a rare time I didn’t have one of my cameras on hand.

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

Thank goodness for cell phones! I especially enjoy taking photos on it using some of the “alternate” cameras you can download so these all have some different effects or sizing to them to make them even more “magical”. 🙂

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

Along with the wonderful western scenes they also had a section that represented Indianapolis. One section showed the state fair midway – which you don’t usually get to see in the wintertime!

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

It was fun to see our town in a small scale! There was a larger section featuring downtown buildings and landmarks.

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

They even had a small version of Lucas Oil Stadium, home of our Colt’s football team.

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

I think my favorite had to be the miniature “Christmas Tree” that is constructed each year by stringing lights on the monument in the circular center of Indy.

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

I hope you enjoyed this wintery tour of the exhibit and that you are enjoying the holiday season!



Kaleidoscope Photo Creations (continued)

A few weeks ago I shared altered images I’d taken looking through some of my kaleidoscopes.

"Kaleidosocpe #18" photo/digital art (c) Lynne Medsker

“Kaleidosocpe #18” photo/digital art (c) Lynne Medsker

Well, I’ve been at it again! It seems like the possibilities are endless with these images.

"Kaleidosocpe #19" photo/digital art (c) Lynne Medsker

“Kaleidosocpe #19” photo/digital art (c) Lynne Medsker

"Kaleidosocpe #20" photo/digital art (c) Lynne Medsker

“Kaleidosocpe #20” photo/digital art (c) Lynne Medsker

"Kaleidosocpe #30" photo/digital art (c) Lynne Medsker

“Kaleidosocpe #30” photo/digital art (c) Lynne Medsker

Since I shared all the details in the last post most of this post is going to be filled with images!

"Kaleidosocpe #29" photo/digital art (c) Lynne Medsker

“Kaleidosocpe #29” photo/digital art (c) Lynne Medsker

"Kaleidosocpe #27" photo/digital art (c) Lynne Medsker

“Kaleidosocpe #27” photo/digital art (c) Lynne Medsker

"Kaleidosocpe #32" photo/digital art (c) Lynne Medsker

“Kaleidosocpe #32” photo/digital art (c) Lynne Medsker

I hope you enjoyed another peek at my kaleidoscope creations, I am certainly having fun making them!

Life Through Kaleidoscopes

One of my favorite memories from childhood is the inexpensive cardboard kaleidoscope that used to arrive in my stocking at Christmas, or that I could save my pennies and nickels for and buy at the local dime store (yes, I am that old!).

“Kaleidoscope #1” smart phone art © 2012, Lynne Medsker

I’d not really thought about them for several years until I discovered a digital program that would create kaleidoscopic art. Even more sophisticated and detailed than the beads rolling in the bottom of a tube, I have created more of them than I’d care to count. Yet it just wasn’t quite the same! To my surprise as I browsed the toy aisles, the kaleidoscopes that used to be so readily available are much harder to come by these days!

“Kaleidoscope #9” smart phone art © 2012, Lynne Medsker

Finally, on a short vacation to visit friends in Florida last March, I discovered one in a gift shop full of fun ticky-tacky souvenirs that I’ve seen in those shops since I was a kid.  An appropriate fate for something so old-fashion and low tech I suppose. I was ever-so excited to find them, although they weren’t exactly as I remembered.

“Kaleidoscope #8” smart phone art © 2012, Lynne Medsker

These had large, clear, dome-like lenses on the end of the cardboard tube and you didn’t rotate the piece on the end to change your design, you rolled the entire tube around. But it somewhat satisfied my quest and I happily paid an outrageous price to bring one home with me. It immediately took up residence in my art studio.

“Kaleidoscope #16” smart phone art © 2012, Lynne Medsker

Although different than I remembered it’s fun to look through because, as you are viewing the patterns it creates, the background you’ve pointed it at is part of the design. It was especially fun during the summer as flowers bloomed and into fall as the leaves changed. I’m waiting for a nice blanket of snow to see how brilliant the design will be on an all-white background!

“Kaleidoscope #2” smart phone art © 2012, Lynne Medsker

I continued to cruise toy aisles and other spots where I thought I might discover a kaleidoscope but didn’t have any further sightings until a trip up to Michigan late this summer. Again, in another tourist gift shop, I spied them. LOTS of them! In different sizes and shapes. Kaleidoscope nirvana!! I passed over the odd design I already had at home and looked through each and every different color, size and design they had. This time I bought TWO!  One, pretty much exactly as I remembered from childhood, followed by a shorter version that had a sort of “stained glass” effect on the end cover instead of the traditional semi-opaque white film covering.

Kaleidoscopes in the studio © Lynne Medsker

They have taken up residence with the first one in the studio. I play with them occasionally, share them with young visitors, grandkids and anyone else that seems remotely interested. When I purchased the first of the three I had tried to take photos through it using my point & shoot camera. The attempt was less than successful. 😦 I don’t recall if I tried to use the phone I had at the time but inspiration hit last week that, since I’d recently upgraded, perhaps my newest smart phone would work. I won’t say it was the easiest task, and the percentage of useable images was probably right around 50% BUT, when it did work – Wow!

“Kaleidoscope #7” smart phone art © 2012, Lynne Medsker

Holding both the kaleidoscope and the phone in my left hand (and trying to keep them lined up in the proper position) while trying to turn the tubes and push the image capture button with the other hand was a feat in itself. I tried it standing, sitting, laying, propped up and a few poses in between that I can’t even describe! But I really didn’t mind the contorting, once I’m in the “photo zone” I rarely pay attention to much else but the images I’m creating.

“Kaleidoscope #12” smart phone art © 2012, Lynne Medsker

After my photo-making craving had been satisfied I began to weed through all the images, deleting the ones that didn’t turn out well, along with several duplicates. Since they were already in my phone I decided that I’d do some digital enhancements to my favorites before I uploaded them.  In addition to the eight that I’m sharing with you today I have another eight that I’ll share in the near future.

“Kaleidoscope #14” smart phone art © 2012, Lynne Medsker

I hope that you have enjoyed the images, my story and perhaps a few memories of your own as you read this! I’d love to hear about them, regardless if they are about a kaleidoscope or some other favorite childhood memory – be sure to leave me a comment. 🙂

Until the next time just picture me browsing the “retro” toys, on the lookout for the next piece to add to my collection!



It seems like I find inspiration in places when I least expect it!

texture image by Lynne MedskerA few weeks ago I visited an old building that’s under construction. The raw walls, peeling paint, exposed bricks and bits of the past kept peeking out at me, I just had to grab my camera and quickly capture some images.

texture image by Lynne Medsker

texture image by Lynne Medsker

Even the outside of the building was awesome! texture image by Lynne Medsker

I’ve got hundreds of images of things that inspire me…I’m especially drawn to textures! Oh, and clouds. And rocks. And…well, the list is rather long!  I am certain at some point I’ll glue myself down in front of the computer and combine all these images into digital art pieces. texture image by Lynne MedskerIn the meantime, my image collection continues to grows!

Suspended (again!)

I’m reposting this from September of 2009. It’s one of my favorite posts, as well as some of my favorite photos. Oddly enough, at the end of the post it mentions “suspending” new blog posts for the week – which is exactly why I chose to do a re-post for today. I’ve been working hard the last few weeks so I could take an entire week to escape into my studio and exercise my creative muscles before they atrophy! I’ve got several new works planned and am looking forward to this time dedicated to making new art. Enjoy this re-post and a few other automated postings this week. I’ll be back with some fresh new content soon! ~ Lynne


suspended #6 (c) Lynne Medsker

suspended #6 (c) Lynne Medsker

(Continuing my musing from yesterday’s post! ) I was able to spend some time at a nearby nature preserve, taking in a quiet, peaceful morning in the woods.  The sun dotted the path where it could sneak between the heavy canopy of leaves and the weather was beautiful.  One of those days that was neither too hot or too cold but just right.  As I mentioned before, I was captivated by the leaves that, during their plummet to the earth, had been detoured.  They were hooked to branches, lying on the leaves of other trees or on top of undergrowth.  Much like many of us that get caught up along life’s path when we least expect it!  As I rounded a slight bend in the path I looked up and, directly in front of me, there was a leaf suspended in mid-air.  It almost looked as if time had stopped at that particular place, freezing this leaf on it’s journey downward.  On closer inspection the spiderweb that was holding it in place became evident.  I was mesmerized!  How often I had felt like that leaf!  Certain I knew where I was going and what was going to happen only to be stopped in mid-flight.  Suspended, going nowhere.  Although that sounds frustrating (and usually is!) there was something peaceful about the leaf too.  Even though it’s journey had been halted I couldn’t help thinking that dangling there gave it a chance to rest.  To slow down.  To not crash into the hard earth quite as sharply when if finally did touch down.  Perhaps these detours and time-outs are there to help us, not just frustrate us!  It was a comforting thought that I’m still enjoying as I write this post.

suspended #2 (c) Lynne Medsker

suspended #2 (c) Lynne Medsker

suspended #1 (c) Lynne Medsker

suspended #1 (c) Lynne Medsker

suspended #3 (c) Lynne Medsker

suspended #3 (c) Lynne Medsker

That reminds me to mention that I will be “suspending” my blog posts for a few days while I take a mini-vacation.  (Although I am testing out the “schedule” feature to do a pre-written post or two while I am gone!) It will feel good to travel a bit, see some different scenery and change up my routine.  I’m packing my camera so, rest assured, I’ll be back with more photos and stories to share!  Peace & love till I return.

Floating on the breeze,