Yarn Pictures

Someone commented earlier in the week about my photos, asking how I get them to come out well. Ha! If you only knew the blood, sweat and tears that go into the photographing! I’m not a natural, by any stretch of the imagination, but I have developed a kind of routine that works for me most of the time.

First of all, I only shoot in natural light, so I hope for good weather, not too sunny as that bleaches out the colours, not too cloudy, as that makes the photos too dark. Today was dreadful, really dark and gloomy, which makes all the photos dark and dingy. That’s why I’m so late getting the blog up today, because I had to spend much longer than usual editing the photos in Photoshop. But more on that later.

I have a sheet of ivory coloured matte card that I use as a backdrop, and I lay each set of skeins on it, with indirect light from the window hitting them side on. I always use a tripod and the self timer on the camera, as I have really shaky hands. I also use the macro setting, so I can get the yarn in closeup detail. Before starting, I lay a sheet of white card down, and adjust the white balance on the camera. I’m very conscious that you all rely on me to get the colours in the photographs as close to reality as possible, so I keep adjusting the white balance throughout the shoot, as the light changes.

I take around 4 shots for each colourway, a couple on auto, and a couple on the daylight setting, as I’ve found that those two light settings on my camera are the most true to life. I use a Canon Powershot A80, by the way. After shooting all the yarn, I go through the photos on the computer, selecting the best ones, and adjusting them as necessary in Photoshop. I try to fiddle with them as little as possible, but just adjust the contrast, saturation, etc, as necessary to get a good true photo. Some days it all works like a charm, other days (today!) I’m pulling my hair out. The hardest ones are reds and bright blues, my camera just hates those colours, and I can never get them to look as good in the photographs as they do in real life.

I have to be honest, this week I am really disappointed with the photos. Pity, because we have some superb colours this week. Here are some of my favourites:

(Sophia 2ply in Spellbound)

(Cecilia in Cocoa Bean)

(Baby Lucia in Plumage)

(Laura in Moorland)

(Lei in Minstrel)

(Victoria in Tutti Frutti – Victoria is a silk/cashmere aran weight yarn)

(Sophia 6ply in Merry)

(Sophia 8ply in Hedgerow)

I’m not going to blot my blog with a photo of it, but go take a look at Sophia 4ply Chameleon. I’ll wait….. Ok, what do you think? We’re split here – Tony thinks its the best colourway he’s ever done, and I think it is appallingly ugly, and looks more like some kind of unpleasant fungus than anything else. I was all for sending it back to be overdyed, but he insisted we put it on the sale page anyway. We shall soon see whose taste is right…..I’m off to hunt down some interesting pattern suggestions now, and will add those to the blog sometime tomorrow. Enjoy!

PS. Don’t forget the clocks go back tomorrow night! I’m not sure how many of you international customers also have daylight saving changes this weekend, but if you don’t, Sunday’s sale will seem to be starting an hour LATER than usual. Oh dear, I hope that makes sense!!

11 thoughts on “Yarn Pictures

  1. I have problems taking pictures of purples, they never come out right. Hmmmm, Chameleon… not sure. The Hufflepuff in me should like the yellow and black, but I’m sort of on your side Dee but this ugly duckling may well turn into a swan. I adore Plum Pudding and Moorland.

  2. Here in the U.S. I’m not sure what is happening with the time change…it’s been shuffled about for some reason and I don’t know when it is this year.

    Has anyone complimented you on the yarn names? They are wonderful.

    And Chameleon, it *might* be lovely in hand, but it’s not too wonderful on the monitor – and everything else is.

  3. Hmm. The Chameleon isn’t to my taste, but the fantastic thing about colour is that what doesn’t suit one person will most likely suit another 🙂

  4. Dee, I hate to get in the middle of marital spats but I’m going to have to side with you (atleast with the way it looks in the photos) on the Chameleon. The color is not to my taste but as pixeldiva says it will be to someone’s liking. Everything else is simply wonderful and I may have to break my budget restrictions and purchase a couple of things. I may “see” you Sunday. Take care.

  5. Um not too sure about the Chameleon either, but then I’m not a yellow girl at all. I do have a friend who looks great in yellow, and I’m sure she’d love it.

    Having just bought 9 balls of RYC Cashsoft 4 ply in red I’m afraid I won’t be seeing you on Sunday – also we are away and won’t have a computer has something to do with it!
    The Cashsoft was half price, and a total bargain!

  6. Sorry Tony I’m in the overdye camp …. it’s not good. Ttoo much black I think…. I see what you were going for but…..

  7. i actually jumped back a little from the screen when i saw chameleon. not my personal favourite this week (umm.. plum pudding). but tony, i do think it might knit up really well into a pair of socks (maybe jaywalkers)

  8. Chameleon rocked my boat and I bought it! I think it is fabulous and I can’t wait for it to arrive in my mail box…..