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We can picture the scene… You’ve just finished the most beautiful colouring page you’ve ever done, and you are so proud of it. You want to take a photo to share with your family, friends and in our friendly Facebook group. But all your pictures are coming back blurry, dark or lacking detail. How can you take better photographs of your colouring pages?
This is a tricky dilemma that many of our colourists face. Whether you are struggling to keep your page in focus, the colours are coming out all wrong, or you’re trying to decide whether to use flash or not, there are so many complicated aspects of taking a photo of your favourite colouring pages. We’re here to help with some top tips!
Our first tip is a bit of a frustrating one in winter, but we highly recommend waiting until daytime to take photos of your colouring pages. Natural lighting will always give you the best outcome, especially when it comes to picking up colours and small details in your drawing.
Artificial light from lamps, overhead indoor lights, or the flash on a camera phone can change the colours of your colouring or create an unpleasant glare on your pages. If you’re an experienced photographer, you can look into creating a studio setup with a backdrop, reflectors, and professional lighting, but for most of us, good old natural light is our best bet!
Position yourself beside a window and try to pick a time where the light is strong, bright, but not direct. You can also open your door and use the natural lighting coming through if you don’t have a nice, big window in your home. If it’s a bit of an overcast day, why not try taking a photo outside?
One of the challenges of working with natural lighting is that you may end up with shadows being cast across your pages, which will split your artwork into light and dark, and won’t make for a very good photo!
Try and position yourself to avoid shadows by not standing directly between your artwork and the light source. Photograph your artwork as head on as possible – if that is creating shadows, you probably need to move! It’s best to photograph your pages when the sun is at its highest point, as this helps avoid shadows being cast from one side of your page to another.
Blurry pictures of colouring pages can quickly distract from your beautiful colouring – so we want to keep them crisp and in focus! If you take photos on your camera phone, this will likely have autofocus. However, this autofocus won’t work as well in gloomy lighting (see step one!), so first of all, make sure your pages are nicely lit.
Give your autofocus a bit of time to find your page and focus on it. Try to keep your phone or camera still while it does this – sometimes a tripod can be helpful for this, or simply balancing your phone on an overhead surface. If it needs a hand, you can often guide the autofocus by tapping on what you want it to focus on – in this case, a nice detailed part of your colouring page.
Take several photos at a time – sometimes you won’t notice until later that only one of them was in focus!
When you photograph your colouring pages, it is best to try and align your camera or device perfectly with the page you are photographing. For example, hold your phone directly above your page so the page appears as a perfect square in the photo.
Taking a photograph from an angle can warp your picture and make it look strange and distorted. A talented photographer can fix this in editing, but we believe it’s easier to create an overhead set up to ensure you take your picture perfectly head on.
You can order a tripod online or use a DIY overhead set up – there are some really creative ideas online involving cardboard boxes, wire hangers and chairs!
Many of these tips are assuming you want to take a nice, detailed, head on picture of your colouring to share, but you can get creative and design a little lifestyle scene for your photos. Why not lay out the colouring pencils, a few extra issues of Colouring Heaven and a cup of tea, and create a little scene?
This way of taking pictures means you don’t have to worry about a direct head on approach, and the variety of objects in your image will help your colours show more accurately.
Although we don’t endorse editing or enhancing your pictures heavily, a few small tweaks can help your photographs look more true to life. For example, making the white of your page look more truly white, or getting more accurate colours. Some very simple editing on your phone, tablet or computer can help your colouring shine!
First up, try cropping your image to cut out any background or clutter. Crop as close as you can to the edges of the page. Then, try pushing the brightness up a bit to make your pages look more white. You can also play around with contrast and saturation, to make the colours look more true to life.
Although taking pictures with a phone or camera can be easier, you may find you have more accurate results by using a scanner. Scanning your colouring pages will allow you to get a true-to-life, in focus, and well lit capture of your work.
Are you ready to take beautiful photography of your colouring pages? We would love to see them in our Friends of Colouring Heaven Facebook group! Our community is full of friendly colourists who love to share their colouring. Plus, this is where we source colouring for our Facebook and Instagram, so your artwork could even be shared by Colouring Heaven!
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