Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Do you follow Plum and June?

A few weeks ago she posted about a monthly quilt photography link up.

I'd really like to improve my photography skills so I plan to at least try to do the assignment each month. The task for August was to take pictures of some fabric.

I usually take blog pictures in my sewing room. The room has one window and is east facing. Through trial and error I have discovered that taking pictures in the afternoon on the table right in front of the window is best for small items. Design wall photos are a challenge and I hope to learn how to improve those through this process.

I took 35 pictures and played with ISO, Brightness, Shutter speed and White Balance. I had to download the manual for my camera to figure out how to adjust these things. This is the first time I have used the P mode on my camera and the Av, the Tv and *gasp* the M (which stands for manual) modes. Usually I just use AUTO.

My camera is a Canon Powershot SX 20 IS. I did not get artsy with the photo shoot. I just grabbed a stack of fat quarters out of my stash that looked good together. They might even be from the same collection. I use the back of a quilt as a backdrop draped over my HQ Sweet 16. I used a tripod for most of these photos.

Shortly after the boy was born I checked out a photography book for moms out of the library. What I learned from it are (1) turn off the flash; (2) take lots of pictures; and (3) turn off the flash. This was actually listed several times in a list of tips in the book. I got the hint. The other things were to pay attention the background so you don't get a strange something sticking up from your child's head in the photo. Outside pictures are best. And dress them in solid colored clothes for the photo shoot. This was a great book for taking pictures of your kid, but now I take many more pictures of my projects than my kid.

I also have the book "The Crafter's Guide to Take Great Photos." I have read this book from cover to cover! It has been very helpful. Reading this book taught me the importance of a good backdrop and various ways to position one. The book contains lots of other great information. One of the things I really like about it is that the author urges you to explore what your current camera can do rather than trying to sell you a more expensive one. It also contains information about accessories you can make to use with your camera from pretty basic items. The items you can purchase are also listed, but I really appreciate the information of how you can make similar things that will work from stuff you already have.

I have a Mac Book so I edit my photos with iPhoto. I try to take a good picture to begin with so that all it needs is cropping and resizing. I recently discovered PicMonkey, which allows me to add text to my pictures. This is the one thing I really need that iPhoto doesn't do. Luckily, PicMonkey is free and allows me add text. All of the photos in this post were cropped, resized and text added with PicMonkey.

Then I started playing around with some of the other things PicMonkey can do.

I added Dark Edges to this one

This is posterized with the maximum number of colors

Go here to for the link up to see how others did this month. I'm looking forward to next months assignment!


West Michigan Quilter said...

This is an interesting post. Thanks for telling me about Plum & June. That site has awesome and is filled with information. I need help in the photography area and I'm going back and read all that is on that blog. Looks like you are getting a great start at learning about photography. Thanks.

The Slow Quilter said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. I also would like to take great pictures and have also used Pic Monkey. Your pictures are looking great and I plan to follow along with Plum & June.

Sharon Dawn said...

Thanks for sharing so much information! I like the theory behind taking kids pictures :-) Time with them is always moving. Your pictures look nice! I like your backdrop. PicMonkey is a great resource that I like to use also.


Mama Pea said...

What a great idea. I wish I could sacrifice the time to do something like this, but I can't right now. Good for you for making that commitment. That's awesome!