I'll be the first to admit it: I take terrible photos. You've probably noticed. I can't seem to get the lighting right, or I can see my shadow in the picture (or at least the shadow of my camera!). The following information is from a recent blog on our sister site, Cloth Paper Scissors. They called in the pros! I certainly need all the help I can get and I thought maybe you'd appreciate it, too.
Digital cameras and photo-imaging software have made it quite easy to
take pictures and distribute them on blogs, social media, and even print
magazines. But perhaps you sometimes wonder why some people's pictures come out
clear, sharp, and colorful, while others—maybe yours?—look dark and fuzzy. Or
have shadows in all the wrong places.
When photographing your artwork, you want the result to look as
professional as possible. Here are some photography tips from Cloth Paper Scissors' design director, Larissa Davis.
|Photograph taken using a light box
made by Ivy Demos
8 Tips from a Pro
Take the photos with
natural lighting, if at all possible. A flash causes shadows
and glare. Soft, northern light is best. If the light inside isn't optimum,
take your subject outside; this works best if it is a slightly overcast day.
Shoot with the light
Whenever possible, take your photo from a vantage
point where your back is to the light. Don't shoot "into" the light;
your subject will be in shadow.
Use a tripod or other
method of stabilizing the camera.
Otherwise, use a steady hand.
This is especially important with close-ups.
Take a look in your view finder and look at what's around your subject. Is
there a plant behind it? Papers off to the side that you don't want in the
picture? Remove any objects that aren't there to enhance the photo.
Neutral doesn't mean
It's usually best to photograph your artwork against a
neutral background. But that doesn't have to be a white wall. Something with
texture, such as textured paper or a nubby linen tablecloth can make the
subject pop and give it a context.
Vary your angles.
Try taking a faraway shot, a close shot, and a detail shot of each element.
Shoot from above and from below.
Give it some scale.
If you're shooting your artwork for selling purposes, especially, it can be a
good idea to style your piece with another object that shows the scale. This
could be a tulip, a button, a hand (with the object in the palm), or a house,
depending on the piece.
Use a light box.
A light box is a professional photographer's tool that reduces glare and
shadows and makes it easier to trace and edit your images digitally. A light
box also helps bring out the details in your artwork. Fortunately, you can
easily and inexpensively make one at home. In the Summer 2010 issue of Cloth Paper
Scissors: Studios, artist and photographer Ivy Demos
shows you two methods of making a light box with materials you can find at your
local discount or hardware store.
homemade light box by Ivy Demos
I've heard a saying that a project isn't actually finished until you take a picture of it. (So don't forget to take photos of your FOs before you gift them!) I hope these tips help you take better photos of your knitting.
Cloth Paper Scissors magazine is a wonderful resource that will enhance your creativity. I know this because I've been a subscriber for five years and I get so much out of every issue.
As knitters we appreciate creativity and we crave inspiration. I get this from a variety of sources, including Cloth, Paper, Scissors. Try it! I think you'll love it.
P.S. Do you have a tip
for taking great photos of your knitting? Leave a comment below and
share it with us!