Professional photo of painting for competition

I paid aud85 for an art studio photo of my seascape to enter it into a competition. The painting itself is not submitted, you only send a high quality image that can only be adjusted for value/ colour and they judge based on that image.
The photo they took came with a 'test' printed photo which looked too dark. I then noticed the digital image looked too dark also. When I put the 600mb tif image into photoshop I found I needed to adjust curves to match painting.
But more importantly I found the darks have foggy patches on them that do not appear on the original painting. To my mind this means that the entire painting will have less visible foggy patches affecting it. I found my wife's face which has an important crisp contrast instead has a foggy edge.
In response they've offered to either retake the photo or adjust the image. They provided a sample of a section of the painting below where they adjusted up to the arrow. "Attached is an edit of your existing file that you have, I have attempted to increase the brightness while retaining and enhancing the areas requiring addition contrast. On the left of the edit line is the unedited file, and on the right is the proposed edit." It's better, but it isn't perfect. I'm guessing they prefer to adjust than retake. Either way, I think they need the painting there to match it. I assure you, those darks in the original painting are clean.
To my mind the ghosting meant light coming in from sides or reflecting off something. Mark is clear in his guidance on taking photos that you need dark around the painting to take a photo and reduce glare.
What would you do? What do you think is reasonable? Would you insist on retake? Or just simply define the outcome and allow them to choose the best solution? Am I expecting too much at fine detail level?
anwesha

Comments

  • Abstraction

    For $85 you are entitled to get an acceptable product, fit for purpose.
    What the print shop does is not rocket science. The machines are mechanical or digital scanners and printers. From the description and result it is clear something is not working properly.
    The shop should be producing top shelf products if it wants to prosper.
    Get it retaken. Tell them it needs to be judged in a competition. 

    Denis
    Abstraction
  • edited March 8
    @Abstraction, I once had a professional photographer photograph a painting for me that I wanted to enter into a competition. The finalists for the competition were chosen based on the photos and so I wanted it to be good. But the photo was terrible.  I took a better one myself and entered that. Didn't get in. I'd already paid for the photo by the time I got it and didn't feel like having it out with the photographer so I just put it down to experience and now take my own photos of paintings. I photograph them outside in daylight in RAW format and then work on them in Affinity Photo until I'm happy with the result. You have much more control that way. And it costs nothing.   If you don't have Affinity Photo or Photoshop you can use GIMP which is free.  :)

    BTW, love the painting. I remember it from when you posted it some time back.  :)
    Abstraction
  • @Abstraction, have a look at this thread
    https://forum.drawmixpaint.com/discussion/comment/141077#Comment_141077

    if you have an SLR camera, or one that can fit a circular polarising filter, then this cross-polarising technique works amazingly well. 
    Abstraction

  • … and I agree, for $85 that is a pretty poor outcome, especially if that’s the best they think they can do. 
  • Ok, it's definitely going back for retake. Very much appreciate the input @dencal @tassieguy and @Roxy
    Today I also discovered my Van Gogh copy done on a painting board with a hole punched through it tearing both the cardboard backing and the canvas. Apparently no-one did it. Sigh.

    dencal
  • Abstraction

    Reframe this incident as a perfect opportunity to improve your repair skills.
    The recent run of the BBC program The Repair Shop showed in some detail the repair of holed and torn canvas. 
    My first attempt at this task was a patch of canvas pva glued on the back any remaining gap filled with Polyfiller, sanded and the scar repainted. Remains invisible five years later.


    Denis

    Abstraction
  • Oh, your VVG painting. It's so good. What a bummer! What @dencal said would sound like the way to go if yours was just on canvas but I understand it's on a canvas covered board. Short of ripping the canvas off the board and repairing it as per dencal, I guess all you can do is sand back, neaten up the tear and put some gesso over it and repaint that section. The back of the board you could just use  a plaster based filler and sand. I think it can be repaired this way.
    Good luck with it.  :)
    Abstraction
  • Abstraction

    Remove all loose material. Put masking tape over a wood hole cover, fill hole with silicone resin, smooth with wet spatula. Sand and paint front. Remove wood and masking tape.

    Denis
  • dencal said:
    Reframe this incident as a perfect opportunity to improve your repair skills.
    You have good emotional resilience skills. I quite enjoy a challenge, and love working on fine details of things. I'll look at it closely and think about the plaster based filler or other options. Thanks both for your suggestions. I had an early painting where the canvas board got damp. I removed the canvas and mounted it on those polystyrene layered boards.
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