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I just read on a thread that someone used a clever camera trick.....

I use my camera after every painting session to take a photo of the painting and load it in Photoshop so I can see with fresh eyes what I've done.  I find this extremely useful.  I just wondered what the camera trick is that someone has used to check values?  This might be very useful too!!  If you know anything I would love to hear from you.


  • edited October 2018
    For more than 25 years, I've had a fairly large mirror standing around 8-10 feet behind my easel.  Every now and then, I glance into it in order to view my work in reverse.  It is a tremendous help.  Mistakes jump out at you.   Another benefit is that it doubles the distance  between you and your canvas without taking a step.
  • @dencal, Thanks very interesting.
  • @dencal  I've just watched the video.  Very interesting.  Do you mix your values first and then check what you've done?  Or do the color swatch first and then use that to help you mix your values?   @broker12 -- I love using mirrors but I have my studio set up in my living room and don't have anywhere to put that kind of mirror.  Instead I frequently scoot back at high speed on my office chair - I've had to teach my dog NEVER to sit right behind me, which of course would be her favourite spot otherwise.  She's a little Shih Tzu so it could be very unpleasant if I ever ran into her.  I think she's got the message now.
  • dencaldencal -
    edited October 2018

    Never used the routine for anything other than a rough guide to the value structure in an image.
    Camera, monitor and printer colours are averaged approximations. You eyes are the best sensors.
    Photoshop will allow you to eye dropper sample a value spot on an image and flood fill that value into some drawn swatch squares. In this way build a swatch card on a separate layer, add notes and labels to keep track.
    Thre are lots of good photoshop tutorials on YouTube.


  • In that case, buy a hand mirror . . . about 5X7 or so with a little handle.  Every once in awhile, turn your chair around, hold up the mirror, and view your work in reverse.  Mistakes/errors will leap out at you.   It's the "reverse" thing that does it.  We get too used to viewing our work the right way that we get used to our mistakes.  When you see it "backwards," little "fixes" become apparent.
  • @broker12  Yes, a small mirror is very useful and I do use one from time to time - however, I find the measuring devices and so on in Photoshop very useful also.  Every little bit helps!  Thank you for your help.
  • Just saw this thread.  Another trick for seeing and comparing value is to take a photo with your camera or iPad and convert it to black and white.  You can then compare the painting to the reference image and to  your paint mix.
  • @mstrick96   Hi, yes, that's a really good idea too. Thanks.
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