Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Old Friends and how not to photograph

It’s always very curious to see work that you made and sold ages and ages ago…..two “old friends” came to visit me today together with a photographer friend.    We were supposed to be photographing some recent work but managed to make every error in the book while we did so!! 

It’s always good to center and level the camera

bt somehow we completely forgot with the first photos…and the images came out with wide tops and narrow bottoms: a perfect shape for cowboys, but not for quilts!)….Here’s me trying to see if the camera is level on our repeat photo…


and,no,I don’t have rosacea, it’s just the weird light reflection..I have 8 spotlights shining on me!

We also managed to omit checking the exposure level so the first pictures were all totally washed out.

And then I forgot to adjust the lamps so the  light fell evenly onto the quilt.  Nobody is supposed to touch these lights which are totally jury rigged with cheap mechanic’s examination fixtures mounted on all the broken fan bases and other assorted rubbish that I have picked out of the neighbours’ bins on trash mornings!!  Got some other good stuff too!!  It’s Recycling after all!  But,of course,various husbands just thrust aside such “clutter” when crossing the studio!   Which I’d forgotten!

We  were so busy talking and laughing that we continued to replay every basic mistake, such as forgetting the grey card (crucial with the warm lights that I have).  Here’s the difference:  on the left is the image before grey card correction…you can see the actual grey card adjacent to the quilt.  On the right is the same piece, colour corrected, using the grey card correction in Photoshop:



     This was a quilt I made about 8 years ago, using a monochromatic colour scheme…could never photograph it with the old Fuji Velvia film we used back then, so it’s lovely to see it in all its greenness!


well…when the color is corrected anyway – second time round!



And of course  the quilts were busy sprouting new threads in every direction (have you ever noticed how they do that?!).   “C’mon boys we’re headed for photography, let’s grow a few shaggy hairs!!”

Here’s another old friend – this one I made 12 years ago…I was still using commercial fabrics  mixed in with the hand dyes back then….


  I don’t know if I’d let myself be this loose now!  And I think I would have cropped it down quite a bit…I was obviously in love with that gorgeous green shibori fabric and wanted to show it off!!! 

Looking at the old work, I think it would be good to get back some of the rawness I had back then, but with the stronger compositions I prefer now.

An interesting day…..

If you have been, thanks for reading!   Elizabeth

PS  There were some wonderful comments on my last blog “What the good teacher does”, so when I’ve time I’ll redo that piece and incorporate all the various suggestions.