This post deals with a bit of a touchy subject in the art world. COMPUTERS and DIGITAL ENHANCEMENT. In these days of The Almighty Photoshop, digitally enhancing artwork is well within just about everyone’s capabilities. The true crux of the dilemma is a matter of intentions. What do you intend to use a digital photo of your artwork for?
A digital image of your original artwork can be used in two general ways: either as a final product itself or to “sell” the original artwork.
If a digital image is to be the final product, you should adjust it as necessary to make it the best it can be for its intended purpose. Some uses for a digital image would be for printed t-shirts and posters, or for use on websites as backgrounds and headers.
If, however, the final product is to be the original work itself, you have a certain responsibility to represent it as accurately as possible. For example, if you are selling your work on a website, the screen image should convey the “qualities” of the original work, so that potential buyers won’t feel disappointed when they see the original. Similarly, work printed for a painting portfolio should represent your true painting abilities without inaccurate enhancements.
That said, you deserve to have your work presented in the best possible light, and not let the imperfections of the photographic process distract from your work’s genuine qualities. To that end, if the colors in your digital image are skewed due to improper lighting, you can rebalance the color to more accurately represent the work’s true colors and intensity. You may also be able to minimize problems with brightness, contrast or unwanted reflections, but only do so to the extent that faithfully recreates your original work.
Ultimately, digital enhancement is another artistic tool in your arsenal to be responsibility used, but never abused. Paint on!