Scan or photograph my artwork?

posted in: Articles | 0

Whether it’s better to scan or photograph your artwork depends on various factors, including the type of artwork, your equipment, and your intended use. Here are some considerations to help you decide:

1. Type of Artwork

Flat Artwork: If your artwork is flat, like drawings, paintings, or printed photographs, scanning is usually the preferred option. Scanners can capture fine details and colours accurately, resulting in high-resolution images.

Three-Dimensional Artwork: For sculptures, ceramics, or art with texture, photographing the artwork may be more practical, as it allows you to capture the depth and texture better.

2. Equipment

Scanning: A high-quality flatbed scanner is ideal for flat artwork. It can provide precise colour reproduction and sharpness. However, a good scanner can be expensive. It can also be much harder nowadays to find a good professional scanning bureau in your local area.

Photographing: If you have a good digital camera or smartphone with a high-resolution sensor and adjustable settings, you can achieve excellent results. A tripod, proper lighting, and a controlled environment are essential for successful photography.

3. Resolution and Detail

Scanners generally provide higher resolution and more detailed images compared to photographs, making them ideal for reproducing fine art or detailed illustrations.

4. Colour Accuracy

Scanners are known for their accurate colour reproduction, making them suitable for capturing artwork with precise colour needs. Photographs may require colour correction in post-processing.

5. Size of Artwork

Scanners have size limitations. If your artwork is larger than the scanner bed, you may need to scan it in sections and then stitch the images together. Photographing large artwork might be more practical in such cases.

6. Intended Use

Print Reproduction: If you plan to reproduce your artwork in prints or publications, scanning is often preferred for its high-quality output.

Digital Sharing: If you want to share your artwork online or on social media, photographing it can be more convenient and faster.

7. Budget and Accessibility

Scanners can be costly, and not everyone has access to high-end scanning equipment. In contrast, many people have smartphones with decent cameras, making photography more accessible.

8. Skill and Post-processing

Both scanning and photography require some skill, but photography may involve more post-processing work to ensure colour accuracy and remove any distortions or lighting issues.

In summary, the choice between scanning and photographing your artwork depends on your specific needs and the resources at your disposal. Scanning is generally preferred for flat, detailed artwork when high-quality reproduction is essential. However, photography can be a practical and cost-effective solution, especially for 3D or large artwork, as long as you have the right equipment and skills to achieve good results.

If you are unsure about your digital files we can provide a quick assessment and advise on any issues and available options. Just use our file transfer page