All Things Visual: The University of Chicago Visual Resources Center

Image Editing, Photographing Art, and Camera Recommendations



The goal is to be able to manually control the camera functions so that you can take non-blurry images in low-light situations, as tripods and flash are often prohibited in museums. There are a variety of ways to do this with both small point and shoot and large DSLR cameras.

Find a camera that has a wide ISO range (light sensitivity), ie. up to 1600 or 3200. High ISO is needed in low light situations, but can create a noisy/grainy image that reflects the quality of the camera and sensor size, so you still want to use as low an ISO as possible when shooting. Study the manual thoroughly and understand how to adjust exposure with Shutter speed, which should not be slower than 60 (1/60th of a second to avoid hand shake) and aperture (depth of field). White balance (color temperature) is another setting to change frequently as you move from tungsten to daylight to fluorescent to mixed lighting. Other added camera functions to look for are image stabilization, which will help keep the image steady and a macro focus/lens, which will allow you to shoot at a close range. Additional information can be found here: Baldwin Guide to Art Photography in Museums Nov 18 2012.docx.

Other tips:


Here is a list from Robert Baldwin, an Art History Professor at Connecticut College whose top picks are in bold. Excerpt from: Baldwin Guide to Digital Cameras July 7 2013.docx.

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