What Photos Don’t Show Us About a Painting

Which of these four photos shows ‘the truth’ of this painting?

Ram Painting with Line in Different Lights

Top left: Taken in my studio out of direct light (most of my photos are taken like this).
Top right: Photo edited with ‘auto-adjust’ (subtle differences).
Bottom left: Taken in my studio in direct sunlight.
Bottom right: Taken in my studio with part of it in direct sunlight through the window

I think they’re all ‘true’ because what you see in a painting depends on the light. The more light there is, the more you’ll see down through the layers of colour; the less light there is, the less you see. That’s one of the joys of an original painting, what you see does change as the light changes through the day. One photo simply can’t convey it all.

One Reply to “What Photos Don’t Show Us About a Painting”

  1. Good point! I tell people, “The painting ALWAYS looks better in person.” Not only does the lighting affect the image when photographing, but also every computer monitor, tablet or phone will display the image differently.

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