Tips

Taking pictures of your knitting

Between Ravelry, Instagram, blogs and sharing project progress on Facebook and Twitter, we often want to take pictures of our knitting. But sometimes if can be frustrating because colours don’t always look right or the texture doesn’t show.

But there are things to do to make your knitting look as good as possible whether you are using a camera or a smartphone.

Light

The more light, the better the pictures. Taking pictures outside has the best results but avoid bright direct sunlight because you will get dark shadows.

Background

You want people to look at your beautiful knitting not the other things in your picture so if you are taking a picture of knitting by itself put it on a plain background like a sheet or a large piece of card. If the picture is of someone wearing knitting try to have them in front of a plain wall, fence ,etc.

photographing knitting
When the mittens are on the cluttered desk you are as likely to check the time on the clock or look at the mug as admire the knitting: Putting the mittens on a plain background makes them the focus

Settings

If you are using a smartphone, make sure it is set to a high resolution – this will give you more options for editing.

If you have a point and shoot type digital camara choose a large file size and use a portrait setting (the little head icon) for whole pieces or the macro/close-up function (flower icon) if you want to get a detailed shot of a texture or motif.

And for people who are confident using a bridge camera or an SLR use as wide aperture, a low ISO and as slow a shutter speed as you can to get a much detail as possible.

And for the best pictures find something to rest your arm on to steady the phone or camera to avoid blurry shots.

Editing

Once you have taken a picture you really like, there are ways to improve it further by editing or adding effects.

Instagram allows you to change the look of your pictures and share them, but if you want to make bigger changes such as correct the colour or sharpen the picture you will need better editing software. There is a free cut down version of Photoshop, Photoshop Express, for phones and tablets, or you could use Picasa on a PC or PicMonkey on the web.

These free programmes will let you change shape of your pictures, sharpen the image (it won’t correct a really blurred picture though) and adjust the brightness and colour. The best way to learn is to play about with a few pictures and see how they changes as you play with the various options.

photographing knitting
Examples of changes you can make to a single picture in picmonkey.com (clockwise from top left): Crop to a square; use the auto adjust on the exposure to make the picture brighter; move the sliders in the colour tab to make the mittens look redder; apply an effect like in Instagram

If you are editing several pictures make a note of the changes you make, otherwise you’ll end up with a set of photos where your jumper is a different colour in each.

Picmonkey also lets you make collages of your pictures – like the before and afters here – so you can show close ups alongside a full pic of a project. These can be very handy for blogs.

And please share your knitting photographs with us here, on Twitter and on Facebook where we have a monthly cover photo competition.

 

 

 

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