What a Difference a Day Makes–Sleeping on Your Art Work

By Matthew Bamberg / May 4, 2013
Marilyn before with a red cast throughout the frame

In art, what a difference a day makes. Sleeping on your art work enables you to get up the following day refreshed so that you can look at your work in an entirely different way than you had the day before.

As a writing professor, I tell students not to submit their work the day they write it. It’s just a bad practice because after a certain point, the more they look at it, the greater chance they’ll miss errors, even obvious ones such as using the same word twice and/or using the wrong word like to instead of too.

As an artist–whether a photographer removing extraneous spots from an image before he/she puts it for sale online or a digital artist who’s forgotten to colorize a portion of his/her piece–you’ll see more of your work if you take a rest from it.

In the picture of Marilyn, a photograph I took in Palm Springs of the monument “Forever Marilyn” I went to bed thinking I was finished with the piece.

I  got up the next morning only to find I had missed applying the sponge tool to a portion of the background so that there remained a deep red cast in some parts of it.

When I got back to working on the photo, I also found those pesky sensor dust marks throughout the frame. Had I put that up on a stock or art photography website, no one would have bought it because of the undesirable red cast and because of the extraneous gray marks.

The image below is how it turned out after I finished working on it the next morning.

Marlyn tweaked after a good night’s rest

About the author

Matthew Bamberg

Matthew Bamberg has provided photographs and written articles for various Southern California newspapers and magazines, including The Desert Sun and The Press-Enterprise. More recently, Matt has been teaching at UC Riverside while also authoring several books like the Quick and Easy Secrets book series (Cengage), Killer Photos with Your iPhone (with Kris Krug and Greg Ketchum, Cengage), the 50 Greatest Photo Opportunities in San Francisco (Cengage) and Digital Art Photography For Dummies (Wiley).