We receive excellent questions from our professional printing clients all the time! One such question was posted by Beth recently as a follow-up comment on one of our most popular blog posts, “How to Print Like Peter Lik”, specifically requesting that we share more in-depth information about how to “properly light” acrylic photos.
In fact, “How do I achieve picture-perfect gallery lighting for my new acrylic photo prints?”, is actually a frequently asked question that we receive all the time – from both beginner photographers as well as from seasoned photography pros who have been in the business for some time.
4 Factors For Gallery-style Lighting Of Acrylics Like Lik
At its core, the principles for lighting artwork in galleries are the same for any home. There are three main factors that go into creating a gallery effect for your acrylic photos:
- Light source types
- Angles of lights
- Hanging and finishing options
- Wall color & space
Light source types and suggestions
The most important consideration is, of course, the lights you select for lighting your art gallery display. In our professional opinion, the light gamut/spectrum should be as close to natural light as possible, to really bring out all of the vivid colour produced by a HD Photo Paper like ImageTech Photo Gloss.
This is why we recommend using SoLux 4700K Bulbs, which are universally recognized as the ultimate in D50 daylight simulation and can be incorporated into any standard track or art-light fixture that accepts a low voltage (12 volt) MR-16 bulb (2 pin socket).
Here’s how you too can print like Peter Lik, download your copy of the Peter Lik Print Guide to get started.
Angles of lights on artwork
In addition to the light bulbs you choose to directly light your artwork, the ambient lighting in your room can completely affect the overall look and tone of your artwork display as well. The soft glow of ambient lighting can be used to create drama and heighten the intensity of your image, pulling the viewer closer to ponder and enjoy the magnificent color and detail captured in your face-mounted acrylic photo prints.
Lik-inspired museum hanging and finishing
ArtisanHD offers an ample variety of hanging and finishing options for you to select from when purchasing your face-mounted acrylic prints, which will also play an important role in the display of your acrylic work of art as well.
For instance, you could choose to add a Museum Back, which gives your acrylic face-mounted print the appearance of “simply floating off your wall”. Or select our 1-inch stainless steel standoff mounting system, which provides “clearance” to allow light to fall between your image and your wall, to add a “glowing” or “backlit” effect to your acrylic print artwork display.
Wall color and space
And finally, the actual wall colour behind your acrylic print can have a dramatic impact as well. Displaying your print on a wall colour that is in stark contrast (either darker or lighter) than the colours included within your acrylic print artwork can add even more drama or ‘POP’ to the final presentation of your artwork display.
How to Achieve Gallery Effect Lighting For Your Acrylic Photos
Getting a gallery-quality for your photos in your home or office is probably easier than you think. With the above guidelines, follow this four-step process to get the Peter Lik gallery look you’re seeking.
Step 1: Measure the wall and analyze space for photo
Step 2: Select the best hanging and finishing options
Step 3: Choose your light source and quantity
Step 4: Light photo directly or indirectly for the desired effect
Aww! The moment that you see in the galleries, the lighting of the artwork is also key. When lit properly, these acrylic photos literally glow. It’s not something that can be measured in numbers or even shown on a computer screen.
Yes, but HOW to light them properly? Besides just bulb color, what direct lighting methods work best to avoid glare?
Thanks for the inquiry. While the bulb is important, a high quality fixture with a diffuser would be recommended. There are a lot of fixtures out there, but since we don’t know the wall / install configuration, it’s hard to make a recommendation on that…I’d suggest reaching out to a local lighting company.
Your ArtisanHD Team