Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How to photograph your knitting


As I have started posting more photos of my knitting and studying other blogs, I have decided that I should do my knitting some justice and take some good photos of it. Plus I am hoping to start selling patterns and knitted items, so photos will, hopefully, make all the difference.

So, I will take some before and after shots of my knitting while I research and put my findings into practice. At the end of this post is a list of links that I came across in my research.

Natural Light V Artificial Lighting

There are a number of schools of thought on this. In many cases professional photographers will use staged lighting so that they have total control over light and shadow. I am not a professional photographer. Generally, in order to show items in their natural beauty, natural/daylight is best. Obviously this is hard to do an night, which is usually when I take photos.

However, if you do have the inclination, WikiKnitting has a great post on making a lightbox: http://wikiknitting.com/wiki/How_to_Take_Detailed_Photos_of_your_Knitting

Cameras
I won't talk too much about this, but obviously the camera you have will make a difference to the final photo. I have a 12 megapixel Canon PowerShot, which has a vast number of settings and can produce excellent quality photos...once I've worked out all the settings!

This post at The Walker Treasury Project
has some great tips on angling the camera, and a bit more on lighting: http://thewalkertreasury.wordpress.com/photo-tips/


Detail
The following two posts have plenty of information on using the camera with a tripod or without, looking at exposure and white balance.
http://www.itsastitchup.co.uk/index.php/news/how-to-photograph-1/
http://www.itsastitchup.co.uk/index.php/news/how-to-photograph2/

So what have I learned?
I haven't out anything into practice yet, but here is what I'll be trying to do next time I photograph my knitting.

1. Paying attention to the light, taking note of how colours change and how best to represent them.
2. Going for an intersting angle - one that will highlight the texture, yet still show the piece without greatly distorting it.
3. Keeping the background clean, clear and uncluttered, and in a tone to complement the piece. Maybe something light on a dark background, something plain on an interesting pattern.
4. Learning what all the effects on my camera do. I know that 'macro' mode is great for close up work - showing stitches in fab detail, but learning how to set exposure, white balance etc.
5. PRACTICING. I will take plenty of photos until I get the one I want and only use the best ones. :)

Keep an eye out for my practice photos to come....

ps - i know the photo at the top has nothing to do with taking photos, but I thought it was quite cute. The one time the pair of them ever get on!

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