Getting a good photo of your work is essential so that you can have a record of it and share it with others.
However, I'm not a photographer with all the set-up and equipment, and I sometimes find that the perfect shot takes hours to get. I've only got an ordinary digital camera and I find myself making elaborate sets out of steps, boxes, bits of draping cloth - anything that looks useful really - to try to stage the shot.
What do you do?
How do you get the perfect shot?
I use the macro setting on my digital camera and take the photo in good light. I have had fun putting my work in a setting background with flowers etc but of late I have just been using a plain cloth as a background. I take my photos in the morning when there is good light.
I still, usually, have to alter shadows/lighting a bit with photoshop. My biggest problem is getting a photo that shows the sparkles of metallic threads and fabrics. Anyone got any hints for capturing those?
Annette, I agree about capturing elements that have a high sheen, or reflective surface they can be dificult. I too, would appreciate some tips!
Emily, Sometimes tweaking the contrast slightly improves things, too. Daylight is always the best light, but unfortunately I live in the UK(Wales, to be exact and it is not exactly renowned for good weather! )
The macro feature on a digital camera is your best friend for close-ups. I have auto macro and a macro zoom so can get reasonable shots of detail.
Im a bit of a happy snapper but take several on different backgrounds and then play with the pic on the computer.Perfect shots?? Well no but good enough for people to see lol
I use a simple digital camera as well and I when I take photos depending on the item I chose the background, sometimes using boxes draped with a solid fabric to raise the item. The best plain background I use is a tri-fold project display board, and I have draped fabric over it as well to change the background.
Natural daylight is useful and I have taken things outdoors to photograph them. My son bought me a photo studio light box tent set which I used about 3 times.
I take and retake many photos.
I like to take lots of progress pics so the light not always perfect. I position my work as close to a window as possible but not in direct sunlight (different windows depending on the time of day/year). I avoid using flash whenever possible especially as I like to take close-up detail shots. For this day to day photography I use a Pentax Optio L40 choosen for its super macro feature and because it fits very easily into my handbag.
When I have finished a project I use a digital SLR on a tripod with remote shutter release. I will wait days for what I consider to be the perfect conditions for photography - a lightly overcast day. Bright enough to give good exposure but none of the hard contrast you get in full sunlight. If there is absolutely no chance of rain I will take my work into the garden for optimum light, otherwise I open patio door and photograph my work there. I don't tend to stage my work. Small items I usually place on a plain background but larger work I crop quite closely to the stitched area. I also like to take detail shots. I take several shots of the same thing, trying different exposures and then look at them on the monitor to select the one that I think looks closest to the original and is definitely in focus, even on full magnification.
A strange tip that I was given some time ago is, before you take a photograph, make sure you are standing comfortably, take a deep breath in and slowly exhale then gently press the shutter release. It sounds bezar but I think that I get less camera shake when I remember to do this!
I am working on a light box I seen on pintrest. I usually set up by a window with sun light put down a white background take a few pics go to the computer look what i have. Pick the ones I like then open them in pic monkey .com and play around with. I love the process and it is a lot of fun. I live in Florida so we have lots of good light. I am still learning that is for sure but having fun learning.
I do not have much experience (or a lot of success) taking quality pics of my embroidery, but I have learned some basics that I am now applying. Essentially, I agree with Carol-Ann: the best detail and color can be captured when you place your work as close to a natural daylight source, but not in direct sunlight (too harsh).
In my opinion, 85% of the quality of your photos comes directly from the camera you are using and the settings you have.
1) Always make sure your digital camera is set to take the largest size "image quality", so it will use the highest number of pixels to capture the detail and clarity of the image.
2) Always check your white balance, even if you have your camera is set on auto shoot. Play around with Daylight vs Cloudy vs indoor.
3) Take your time to make sure your camera has fully focused on the center of the image, especially when taking macro shots.
4) If you plan to frame your embroidery under any type of glass, always take your photos BEFORE framing. I didn't and now it is too late to get a high quality shot.
As to capturing the glint of metallic threads or the sheen of silk threads, etc., I'm convinced that it is impossible. After all, have you ever seen a photograph of an embroidery that was more beautiful than the actual embroidery "in person"?
Elaine, I've never used a light box. I may check that out.
Good tips Terry