Posts Tagged ‘photos’

Photographing Green

I’ve been spinning fiber in the most gorgeous heathered shades of green this week, and you would never know it.

green1

I’ve tried photographing it for you half a dozen different ways, and not only does not a single one come remotely close to the correct color…

green2

None of them are even close to the same color as in any of the other pictures.

green3

It’s bizarre. What is it about green that’s apparently so impossible to photograph?

green4

It’s a shame because so much of what I make is, in fact, green. Anyone more skilled with the camera have some advice?

Montreal

Hubby and I are back from a week in Montreal, and very grateful to my little sis for again house- and pet-sitting! Ready for a few highlights? It’s photo-heavy!

montreal skyline

First off, the hotel we stayed in had such amazing views we almost didn’t want to leave it! From one side of the impressively affordable suite, we could see Vieux Montreal, the St. Lawrence River, and Habitat 67. From the other side we could see a good chunk of downtown and Mont Royal. It was pretty stunning.

mont royal and downtown night view at night downtown view vieux montreal view

Even though we deliberately got a room with a kitchenette so we could take advantage of Montreal’s famous farmers’ markets and bagels, we had a surprisingly hard time finding any! We did manage to find a few local treats to sample though!

food truck maple ice cream vignoble william st. ambroise apricot

We spent plenty of time touring around Vieux Montreal’s beautiful old buildings and museums (And ice cream shops. So many ice cream shops.)

notre dame de montreal bank marche bonsecours  habitat 67scandal exhibit bubbles

And spent a day exploring Mont Royal too.

mont royal distance mcgill mont royal fountain mont royal beaver lake chateau view 2 chateau view 1 mont royal chateau mont royal cross

Of course, being hockey fans (if not especially Habs fans) we had to go to Centre Bell. We chose to do that on the only day it rained, because the so-called underground city meant we could walk there without ever actually going outside. Pretty amazing.

locker room bowman visit game worn richard hockey sweater

All in all an excellent week, with plenty of built-in knitting time as well! More on that later!

New Toys!

I finally managed to replace my camera!

camera

Photo from the Amazon site.

That means no more cruddy cell phone pictures for you guys! The camera’s a bit more fancy than my previous, so I’m not entirely sure how to use all the features yet. I’ve got a pretty good handle on the basics after a quick couple experiments in the garden though.

garden

Did I mention how excited Hubby is that the irises turned out to be more or less Redskins colored? I’m more excited by how happy all the garlic next to the irises looks. The other new toy I got today isn’t directly crafting  related, but it does keep me sane enough to feel like knitting.

running shoes

New running shoes! They look so fun and shiny and clean in that photo, straight out of the box. Of course, within literally 10 minutes of taking them out of the box I was out the door on a run and they were muddy. So much for pretty! Aside from the fact that they’re a bit hotter than my last pair of running shoes (that counts on days like this where it’s in the 90s out!) I like them a lot. They feel lighter than my old pair, the laces stay tied, and they don’t make my arches hurt (yet). Plus I always feel so virtuous when I wear out a pair of running shoes! All in all a good day.

Misty Morning Redux

The Knit Picks blog is saying some lovely things about my Misty Morning sweater! Check it out!

My Favorite Independent Designer Photos by Hannah via the Knit Picks blog

misty morning

 

Click to read more.

The Importance of Good Photos

Take a look through my shop on Ravelry. Which design do you think has the best cover photo? The best additional photos?

catch

Is it this one?

I definitely think it’s Catch. It is also far and away my best seller of all my patterns. I really don’t think that’s a coincidence. My other hot sellers also coincide with the ones I think have the best photos. There’s enough of a pattern that I actually have reshoots in the works for some of my old, less popular patterns. Having good photos of your work is almost as important as having good quality work when it comes to getting sales, or those awesome little heart-shaped ego boosts (aka favorites) on your Rav page!

So how do you get good photos? I don’t claim to be an expert, but I do have some tips:

1. Lighting is vital. Natural light generally looks better than artificial, but if you must use artificial make sure all your bulbs are the same color and type. Your space should be well lit regardless, and be sure to avoid having any distracting shadows on your knitting and/or model.

2. Use the rule of thirds. Basically, imagine breaking your photo up into nine equal pieces with a grid. Try to position your “interesting points” (a pretty cable, a color change, the model’s face, etc) at the intersections of that grid.

seaspray

Background clutter. Ew.

3. Pay attention to your background. Is there distracting clutter in it? Does it go along with the “story” your garment is telling, or does it look out of place? A pretty garden works for a soft, romantic piece but not for an edgy modern one. Leafy green trees look odd with a heavy winter sweater. Try standing a little away from the background or using the portrait setting on your camera to blur the background a bit and really focus in on the knitting.

4. Be a little silly. Especially for those of us not using professional models, getting natural looking poses can be tricky. Goofing off a bit will help the model relax, even if you don’t use any of the silly shots. If your model’s a child, he or she probably isn’t going to pose anyway. Just go with it.

5. Take lots of photos. No seriously, lots. At least 50% more than you think is reasonable. Even with a really casual photographer behind the camera, the law of averages says you’ll get at least a few usable shots!

What are your best photo tips?

P.S. I’m having a Back to School sale! All patterns are 20% off now through Labor Day – the last day of summer break for my own students. That’s September 2nd for those of you not in the U.S.!

Flourishing Fields Update

Last summer I got a new camera, and posted about how much better it is than my old camera. I’ve slowly been using it to take improved, updated photos of some of my patterns, while I also update the format of my old patterns to be more consistent.  It has been very slow going because I’m only doing it in my very limited spare time between current designs and the day job.  I channeled by typical springtime craving for all things green, and have completed my update of Flourishing Fields!

fields cover

Flourishing Fields, by Christina Loman

If you are a previous buyer, you’ve received an updated copy already, free of charge, via Ravelry or an email sent by Ravelry. Whether you are a previous buyer or not, know that the content of this pattern has not changed. These are still fairly simple cuff-down socks with the exact same cables as before. All that has changed is the format, plus a few new photos. Enjoy!

buy now

New Toys!

I know a lot of people are showing off the crafty goodies they’ve gotten for Christmas, Hanukkah, etc. and I’m going to join the party. Look, look!

stitch dictionary

A new stitch dictionary! I’ve checked this one out of the library a million times already, so I’m excited to be able to save myself the trip now. Also,

gorillapod

A new GorillaPod! It’s an awesome, bendy, magnetic tripod for my camera. No more shaky hands and blurry shots for me! I particularly love that it’s so easy to mount nearly anywhere. I take photos in some pretty odd places, and the hubs is not always around to help.

gift certificate

 

I also got a gift certificate to a yarn shop not terribly far from me for a spinning lesson and some money towards…drumroll… a spinning wheel!! I think I’m going to wait and get a bit better with the spindle before I shell out for a wheel, and I do still kind of want another spindle for my birthday, but I am very excited to go play with wheels!

capra

 

Last but not least is not strictly a Christmas present, but still very exciting and it came the day after Christmas, so I will count it. This is yarn support in the form of KnitPicks’ new Capra line. It’s cashmerino and I can not stop rubbing the gauge swatch across my face. It feels soooo amazing I practically drool every time I pick it up.

rc copter

 

This is not my present at all; it’s just a bonus photo because it was the most popular gift of Christmas. Why yes, it is a remote-controlled helicopter, and yes, it did go to a man my father’s age. But it. is. awesome.

 

 

Fit to Flatter

Yesterday I was lucky enough to finally attend one of Amy Herzog‘s Fit to Flatter workshops. I won’t go into too much detail, because you really do need to take the workshop to get the full picture, but it was definitely a worthwhile experience. It was interesting to see that I’ve been instinctively knitting and designing for my bottom-heavy figure, in spite of the fact that my measurements suggest I should be a more proportional figure and I always assumed they told the whole story.

bottom heavy

As she pointed out, the initial, head-on impression of your body is the one most people carry around in their brains, so that’s the one that counts. The decidedly unflattering shot above shows that when you reduce me to a 2-dimensional amalgam of shapes, my hips are wider than anything up top. That means things with fancy details in the top half, like cowls

esmeralda lace

Esmeralda, by Christina Loman

or color work, or yokes,  or lace work help to balance my figure and flatter it. Because I’m so curvy (in the literal sense, if not the euphemistic one), wide, deep necklines also flatter – even if I wear a tank or something else high-necked underneath.

catch

Catch, by Christina Loman

Details that call attention to my waistline are also flattering, although a simple belt will do the trick there. I also got to try on the samples from a lot of Amy’s patterns, and learned that since Amy’s body type is similar to my own, a whole lot of the patterns from her upcoming book are going to look awesome on me. Can’t wait til it comes out!

Short Rows and Wraps

Short rows are a useful way to add pockets of fabric or change the shape of your knitting, such as with a sock heel or sweater shoulder. They are also easily adjustable and cause minimal disruption to your average stitch pattern. This makes them a great way to customize the fit of almost anything you knit. Below are the basics of how to use them.

When you get to the row where your short rows will begin, work the number of stitches required by the pattern. Then, to prevent a hole from forming in the fabric, you will wrap (but not knit) the next stitch before turning your work.

wrapped knit stitch

Wrap the stitch.

Do this by moving the yarn to the front of the work, then slipping the next stitch and returning the yarn to the back of your work. Put the slipped stitch back on the left needle, then turn your knitting and work back across the stitches in the opposite direction. You will have left the last few stitches (four in the photo above) completely untouched.

You will probably repeat this step several times, working several fewer stitches each time. If you are forming a pocket of fabric, such as with a heel, you may also not work all the way back across the row before turning again.

wrapped purl stitch

Purl stitches wrap the same way.

When you’ve worked as many short rows as you plan to, you’ll simply resume working all the way to the end of the row. However, now it’s time to hide all those wrapped stitches so you don’t mar the look of your pattern. When you get to a wrapped stitch, you will see a little bar of yarn at the base of it. Pick it up and place it on the needle.

pick up wrap

Pick up the wrapped stitch.

knit together

Knit the wrap together with the wrapped stitch.

Work this stitch together with the stitch it was wrapped around, as if it were a k2tog (or p2tog). Repeat this process for each stitch you previously wrapped. If you are working one-ended short rows, such as with a short row shoulder, this will be the only row where you pick up wraps to hide. If you are doing two-ended short rows, such as on the bust of a sweater, you will need to do this on the next row as well to catch all of the wraps.

purl together

The process is similar for wrapped purl stitches.

But what if you’re working short rows near the end of your work, such as in the shoulders or to accommodate a dowager’s hump? Can you hide wraps and bind off at the same time? Of course.

Bind off like normal until you reach the wrapped stitch. Pick up and knit the the wrapped stitch together with the original stitch, like always.

knit wrap together

Knit the wrap with the wrapped stitch, like usual.

Then pass the first stitch over the newly reduced stitch as if it were an ordinary stitch. One stitch remains on your needle. Continue binding off.

bind off

Bind off like normal.

Those are the basics. Any other tricky aspects of short rows I can clarify?

P.S. The close-up shots with my new camera are SO much better than the old ones!!

Need a project to practice on? Try my Brambleton.

Photos

I won’t go into the USOC/Ravelympics debacle here. I’ve pretty much summed up my feelings here, and frankly the whole thing saddens me enough to just want to move on.

So.

Not 20 minutes after my last post the new camera arrived, and I’ve spent (almost) every spare second since then playing with its settings. I’ve never really messed with manual settings before, and experimentation really is my favorite way to learn.

I took an old, mediocre photo of my Sky Scarf taken with the old camera, then recreated it with the new camera. I didn’t change any external factors (location, background, time of day, artificial lighting, etc), which makes it extra exciting to think what kind of pictures I can produce once I start playing with those as well. See what just changing the camera settings does:

This is the original, taken with my old camera

This is the new camera set to auto mode. Already the colors are more accurate

Since I was indoors in my rather dark apartment, I tried the “low light” option in the shooting modes.

Next I played with the manual white balance. This one turned out best.

I experimented with the ISO too. ISO 400 seems to be the best of the batch, so I guess it wasn’t that dark after all.

What I take away from all this:

1. Take lots of photos. It doesn’t cost anything as long as you don’t print them all, and unless you’re a super-phenom and not working with anything that might move, you really can’t predict which shot will be the perfect one.

2. Even auto mode to auto mode, a decent camera really does make a difference.

3. Cannon’s shooting modes are a godsend for people like me just sticking a toe in the deep end.

4. Poor white balance is probably the reason photos with my skin always look so bizarre.

5. Higher ISOs are better for darker shots.

6. I really have a whole lot of buttons left to push. And I have no clue what most of them do.

Any one have any more tips or insights for my new favorite toy?

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