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Old Jan 29, 2003, 11:34 PM   #1
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Default Advice for semi starving artist.

My goal is to take a digital photograph of a 40"x 30" oil painting on canvas.
I then plan to print the image using an Epson 1280 printer.

So far I have experience in scanning small canvases on my scanner and printing the image on an Epson C80 printer. The results have been so good that im no longer starving, at least not all the time.

The problem is my scanner bed limits me to only scanning and printing small artwork. Hence my search for the digital cam, solution.

Is it possible to photograph large canvases for inkjet printing?

What is the best digicam ie 3mp or 4mpix under $500?

Would I even need a 3 or 4 mp cam, since the 40x30 images would be reduced down to approx, 13x17 ( I dont have the wide format printer yet) but I have some idea of what I want.

Whould I need imaging software? The one I use now came with my PC ,very basic Photodeluxe 2.0

Are there any books out there for a novice in this subject?

Im on a budget but Im determined.

ps I know I might have left something out in my questions so anything you guys might add would be much appreciated.

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Old Jan 30, 2003, 5:05 AM   #2
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For a good 13x17 inch print, they say that you need at least 5megapixels (mp) (2560x1950), 6mp or more would be better.
3mp is good for making higher quality 8x10 inch prints (2mp is minimum for 8x10). You can't blow up such a picture without a lot of quality reduction. Try scanning a 8x10 photo with the scanner set at 150dpi, blow it up to 13x17, and see how it then prints out.

There is software called Genuine Fractals which is a plug-in for Photoshop (you can't use it with PhotoDeluxe, can't remember if Photoshop Elements (a cheaper version of Photoshop) can use plugins) which is supposed to be able to blow up smaller pictures into larger ones, but I haven't tried it.


There are plenty of digital photography books on the subject that cover everything from cameras to what you're doing...suggest you should hit your local library.
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Old Jan 30, 2003, 6:26 AM   #3
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I was also going to suggest a scanner was the best tool, but then I'm thinking are these paintings framed hanging on the wall?. If these paintings can be scanned with a flat bed, even in sections and joined electronically - yes packages will do this, like making panos, results could be quite good. Hope this isn't advice for forgery!

Although they are tricky to drive, there are scanners where the head is detachable and they can be 'rolled' across a print in sections and the images 'seamlessly' zipped together. A scanner and photo editor might be a cheaper option for a starving artist!
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Old Jan 30, 2003, 8:55 AM   #4
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Default Detachable scanning

Ive looked into that, (detachable scanning) but im afraid that would require much more image manipulation than I care to tackle.

About a year ago I took one of my canvases (un-framed) to a photographer who digitized the image onto disk.
I had planned on having a printing company use that image to make posters and limited edition prints. The problem was the cost that the printing co, wanted to charge me.

I still have the image on disk but for some reason I cant resize it(smaller) on my PC for printing. I can open the image on screen but I cant seem to get my printer to print the image.

I would like to gain knowledge of the whole process myself, so as not to have alot of money tied up in posters that might not sell.
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Old Jan 30, 2003, 9:30 AM   #5
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I would advise the following:
1. Professional lighting or as close as you can afford. I would even try direct overhead sun.
2. A 5 or 6 mp camera.
3. Shoot the photos in Tiff or RAW format
4. Exact horizonal line from the camera to the photo. The camera and the picture must be on the same plane.
5. Tripod for the camera
6. Remote control for the camera
7. Good editing software ie PhotoShop
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Old Jan 30, 2003, 10:50 AM   #6
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I have been doing that for a while now ( with 20"X30" originals, using a 3mp olympus 3000 and printing onto 11"X17". Yoiu should get the most mps you can afford, but beyond that this is what you need in a camera: TIFF mode (better than RAW without expensive software), ability to turn off the in camera flash and manual settings or exposure compensation.
For a starving artist, I would recomend a 35mm film camera with manual settings and a good scanner (or take them in). That can give you a very highly detailed file for less money spent.
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Old Jan 30, 2003, 11:15 AM   #7
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Default Questions!

(1) Would a 4 mp cam not do the job?

(2) What digicam do you recommend?

(3) Would Photoshop help me in resizing the image that I already have on disk?

Many thanks to all.
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Old Jan 30, 2003, 11:46 AM   #8
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I'd recommend the Olympus C-4000Z as the best digicam under $500. If you are in the US, they can be purchased for around $420 locally and around $350-70 via mail order. You might want to go via local route (some big place like Costco/Best Buy/Circuit City) to see if it'll work for you and also be able to return it without hassle.
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Old Jan 30, 2003, 11:51 AM   #9
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For a starving artist then, and from the previous post, I'd try the 35mm film camera, print high quality A4 and scan.

What we're saying is, for the large print sizes you are talking about, the data files could be big, printing slow and the pc needs to be a high spec.

It might be helpful if you tried printing out some small area scans of your paintings (particularly with detail) at the final size and at different scan resolutions on the paper/media you want to use, at the distance you expect to view them. Then say what scan resolution you'd be happy with and tell us what size print you did.
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Old Jan 30, 2003, 5:04 PM   #10
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By "definition" as an "artist" you have "vision".

Here is my suggestion...

Approach a commercial photo shop to do the
work for you...

In lieu of payment, give them some sort of
publishing rights (one time, one year, one publication
use to promote their business, etc) or offer
to portraiture of owners' family.

What is the worst that can happen (other than
your original work coud be damaged)? They say, "No.".

Good luck, Millie!

You can do it....Be thoroughly modern, Millie!
(sorry, could not resist ).

Two cents
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