Top view showing how to position lights
- Use extra light. I like to take pictures outside on an overcast day when possible, but the weather doesn’t always cooperate. In those times, I use my living room. I have two floor lamps which have full-spectrum light bulbs. I drag them in and use them for extra lighting. For even lighting without completely washing out the quilts, I place them so they are at 45 degree angles (or less) to the quilt. Sometimes I’ll place one lamp on either side of the quilt. I can usually get the best coloring that way. After a few shots like that, I’ll either turn off one light or place both on the same side. That way I can create shadows and I can usually get a good shot of the quilting. Also experiment with moving your lighting closer or further away to see what shows off your quilt best.
- I tried something new this last photo shoot. I positioned an inexpensive color card from CameraTrax next to my quilts. You can see it on the right in the photo above. If I understand correctly, this card is a “known” reference that would help a publisher to digitally correct a photo so the colors are right.
- Take lots of pictures. I usually take ten or more pictures of each quilt. I keep changing the lighting, I zoom in different amounts, I take full shots and detail shots. My aim is to give myself many options so there is a greater potential that at least one is really good.
- Check your pictures. If you’re smart, you’ll transfer your digital pictures to your computer and look at them closely before taking down your quilt. Ask me how I know! Make sure you have the entire quilt in the picture. Make sure the color is a reasonable representation of the quilt. Make sure they are clear. In short, make sure you have all the pictures you’ll want of this quilt if you never had the opportunity to take any more.
I hope a few of these pointers might help you take better pictures of your quilts, even if those pictures are just for your documentation.
Contact Lisa Ellis
Lisa Ellis (firstname.lastname@example.org)