I’m a realist. If all I did was write about the things I knitted and crocheted and spun, you wouldn’t be reading this blog. There has to be pictures and lots of them. Any picture, even a cruddy one, is better than no picture. But a good picture?
A good picture will grab your attention faster than anything else I can do on a web page. I’m always trying to take the very best pictures I can.
How I Take Pictures of My Knitting and Crochet and Yarn and Cats
(Can’t forget those cat pictures! The internet was invented to show cat pictures you know!)
My photography education comes from a few community college classes, reading books on photography, and lots of practice. Practice makes for a pretty good education. But I’m no expert. I’ve never worked in a studio, or shot pictures with professional level equipment, and my attempts at outdoor landscape photography are pathetic. They are very, very sad actually.
But I take pretty good pictures of yarn and cats! So if you’re willing to take a few tips from a complete amateur, I’m willing to share what I know.
Its worth the time and effort to take the best picture you can of your work. What you are making, its important. Its hours and hours of your time. And its a part of you the way all creations are a part of their creator. Take its picture. Take the best picture you can. This little guide I’ve thrown together is not about why you should go buy a single lens reflex camera or finding the correct aperture for your shot. Its about getting the most out of whatever camera you have so you can show off your work. Even if all you have is the camera on your phone, you can get a good picture.
Why Do So Many Pictures Disappoint?
A camera is just not as good as the visual equipment you are carrying around in your skull. Nope, not even the really expensive ones. Your eyes, combined with your brain, are better than any camera. That’s why when you take a picture of what you see, it looses something.
- Sad fact # 1: The camera picks up all kinds of stuff that you don’t want to show
Your mind is the ultimate image processor. Its auto-correcting for poor light conditions, adjusting colors, and cropping out all that stuff in your peripheral vision that you don’t really care about. But your eyes just see what is there. Cameras are like eyes, they see what’s there and not just what you are looking at.
I saw an adorably rotten Anti-Spinning Feline Overlord nested down in between two huge balls of roving. The camera saw a black blob with shiny eyeballs and a whole lot of brown. The camera also saw Cowardly Boy Cat looking on adoringly (like he does) along with other distracting stuff. It also saw lots of stark shadows. All that makes for a cruddy picture.
- Sad fact # 2: The camera cannot see as many colors and shades as the human eye
Cameras have gotten better and really good cameras have amazing precision. But no camera (and no screen) can show as many colors as you can see with the naked eye. That’s particularly obvious when I try to take pictures of my little black cat.
With my eyes I can see her. I can see her long whiskers, her bushy eyebrows, the the red tint in her fur, and the expression on her face. But my camera can’t. If she is not in very good light and if she doesn’t open her eyes, there isn’t much point in taking her picture.