Monday, October 29, 2007

Photographing yarn without a tripod.

When you're shooting small still items, you need a steady hand. I, for one, do NOT have a steady hand. Maybe that's why I enjoy knitting so much, because while I knit, there's no need for my hands to be still. I also do not have the desire at the moment to spend any of my hard earned pay pal to buy a tripod. So it's time, once again, to improvise.

As I was shooting all my beautiful new yarn last night I had a particularly shaky hand, now maybe it's because I helped my Mom move for 8 hours yesterday, maybe not, who knows. Anyway, I really felt the need for a tripod last night. So I looked around the art room (where I do my yarn photography) and found a child's wooden slatted chair. Perfect! Now if I just set the camera on the chair I would have gotten a funky angle, so what I did was hold the camera while I was hugging the chair. I had the back of the chair to my chest and I was on my knees behind it. Sounds funky I know but I swear it wasn't as uncomfortable as it sounds. I was then able to tilt my camera back and forth to get the proper angle. It's still not a perfectly still camera, but it's much more still then it was with me hovering over my yarn on my knees. At one point I also turned the chair over and hugged it tighter to get a higher angle

Here's the same skein shot pre and post improvised tripod. As you can see, the post tripod pic is much clearer.

Another thing I learned last night:
It's better to get farther away from your product and zoom in rather than get as close as you can with the camera itself. The second pic was shot from farther back and zoomed in. Later in my work last night I zoomed in even closer and got some really nice shots of the yarn clear as a bell.

I hope I've shed a little light on the picture taking situation!


Mrs.Kwitty said...

Thanks for the tips-- photographing items for Etsy can sure be a challenge!
Smiles, Karen

b.inspired boutique said...

I am building a light box today and will consider this tip! Thanks!

AmandaMay said...

nice improvisation! Keep in mind that zooming in will magnify any shakiness, although with your chair hugging technique that might not be an issue!

shellee said...

"chair hugging technique" I like that LOL

Thanks for the heads up Amanda.

B inspired, let me know how your light box turns out. I made one once and after a few rounds of photos I opted to ditch the box and set up a bigger area to take my pics. I know lots of people who have great success with them as I'm sure you will.

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