Picture Perfect

© Visual Hunt

Today I’m going to take a little break from yarn, patterns, and knitting. Instead I’m going to stroll on over to the world of photography. About 10 years ago my parents were extremely generous and bought me my first DSLR camera. Prior to this, I had gone through a slew of point-and-shoot cameras and a Polaroid that my grandmother bought me when I was ten.

Regardless of what camera I was using, I always enjoyed taking candid photos of friends and family. This later evolved to candid street photography, thanks to a phenomenal trip to China. When I started to take trips to less populated areas, my subject matter transformed once again to more of a candid people in the middle of nowhere type of thing. My favorite photos from all my trips typically have at least one unknowing person in them.

Once I started to knit more frequently I wanted to take photographs of my projects at various stages, but I didn’t want to use my DSLR so I started to use my iPhone. Going from taking photographs of living beings to inanimate objects was a little tricky. For help and inspiration I started taking mental notes of photographs on Ravelry that I really enjoyed and stood out to me. I tried perusing Instagram, but it was harder to find what I was looking for. Since taking my first knitting photo three years ago, I’ve started to pay more attention to what I’m trying to portray in my yarn stories.

Here’s what I've learned along the way:

© Laura Oriana Konstin

Yarn photos. When taking photographs of yarn, I try to find a pretty background to highlight the yarn or a quirky way to display it. I recently purchased some very large yarn from the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. To show off how large the skeins were I took a yarn selfie.

© Laura Oriana Konstin

WIP photos. Taking photographs of my WIPs is still a work in progress. I feel like I’m just starting to really produce results that I’m happy with. No matter what the WIP is, I try to take a photograph of what makes the project special. If it’s a top secret test knit I make sure to highlight the section of the pattern that will be the most enticing, if there is colorwork I will use a neutral background so that it won’t distract from the colors I’ve paired together, and if there is texture I take about 9000 photos until I finally produce one I like that shows off the texture.

© Laura Oriana Konstin

Finished project photos. These can be a little difficult to capture in all their glory. If it's a garment I’ve knit for myself I usually find a not so willing volunteer to take a photo (more like 100) of me. A few of the shawls I've photographed I've thrown in the air and how they landed (with a little bit of tweaking) is how I shot them. The hardest project I took a photo of was a pair of leggings I knit for myself. I tried having someone take a photo of me, but the detail wasn't showing up and the color was all wrong. What was my solution? I sat on the floor and put my legs against the wall for the most flattering leg photo I will ever have of myself. Seriously, my legs look so long.

Tools. I use a few iPhone apps when it comes to editing. I will use the main editing option within iPhone Photos if I need to add a little brightness, play with the saturation, correct the temperature, or straighten something out. I occasionally use the healing option in Snapseed when I want to make something disappear. I used it not too long ago when I wanted to remove a stitch marker from a photo I took. Last but not least is VSCO. I use VSCO when I want to use a filter that will add a little mood to the scene. I bought a fun little tripod for my iPhone that I just received in the mail. It will make photographing myself in finished garments much easier.

Location. My favorite place to knit is at home. It's my cozy, home-base activity. Since I do the majority of my knitting at home I also like to take photographs from my favorite spots in my house. My number one photographed location is my dining room table. I either use it as the background or I put different fabrics on top of it to change things up.

Next time you take a knitting photo, experiment and have fun with it. Remember just like knitting, photography is a personal artistic expression. I rarely get to keep my knitting projects so I like to use photography as a memento for all my projects that I'm unable keep. I've also created a little hashtag for myself (#MyYarnBook) on Instagram so that I'm able to see all my yarn stories.

Instagram: OrianaLK

Ravelry: OrianaLK

October 07, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin
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