Saturday, August 14, 2010

Amateurish Photograph, Part 6

So, what have we learned? The number 1 tip for taking great knitting blog photographs (and just about any other subjects)? Light. It's all about the light.

For example. If I take a knitting project (in this case a baby hat I finished a while back) and put it on my kitchen table and use a flash, the results are too bright and the colors are off.

Flash

So what if I turn off the flash? In this case it was in the evening and my kitchen doesn't get a ton of sunlight. Even with the lights on, the results were shaky.

No Flash
With the flash turned off, the manual setting on the camera wanted the shutter speed to be 1/30th of a second. That's too long to hold a camera perfectly still. As a result the focus is off - even though I had the camera perfectly focused on the center of the hat.

If I use the Lightscoop, things improve.
With Lightscoop
The colors are spot on, the focus is clear, and you can see the detail in the white parts of the hat.

I know that I could also get a nice quality photo if I place the hat in my "lightshelf" (equipped with 2 cheap clamp lights and daylight bulbs). But I've shown you in past posts what that can do.

I got home too late to give you an example, but direct sunlight in the middle of my yard wouldn't be the solution. If I use natural direct sunlight, the result would be harsh and likely have odd shadows.

If I use indirect sunlight (such as on my shaded, north-facing, front porch), the images are crisp and clean.
In Shade
If I was going to blog this hat, this is the picture I would use. The picture is crisp and clear and properly focused. The arm of the rocking chair and the concrete floor also create an interesting background (more interesting than an oak table) that doesn't take away from the subject of the photo - the hat itself.

Another thing I've learned, though not always practiced, is that the knitted object should be placed either on a clean, single colored background, or something that is natural without taking away from the image. The last photo above is a good example of it.

Another way to create some interest is to take a picture of the knitted object from an angle, rather than straight on. You can see the difference between the third photo above and this one.

Different Angle
This is definitely more interesting and appealing to the eye.

Choosing natural light or indirect flash can really make you look like you know what you are doing. Even when you are like me, and you don't. This is so true for people subjects too.

All of these photos were taken with the manual setting mode on my camera, no knowledge required. I didn't enhance any of these in Photoshop either, these are straight out of the camera.

1 comment(s). Tell me what you think!:

Sarah said...

Thanks for sharing the Lightscoop. I'm amazed at how much it diffuses the "flashy" look for something so simple. Might need to get one of those for myself - plus it's the perfect idea for my Dad's birthday gift!

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