Monday, December 29, 2014

New Warps, New Camera Lens, New Year!

To paraphrase the old cliche: I don't know much about photography, but I know what I like. And I really like my new "Nifty Fifty" lens that my children gave me for Christmas.

All I know about photography, other than a class I took back in the day, is that a digital SLR takes the best photos because it has the most powerful sensor. That and something I learned from Rachel Biel of Rayela Art, founder of TAFA, the Textile and Fiber Art List. When I joined TAFA, she looked at my Etsy page and made a valuable comment: While my photos were good, they could be even better if they had a shallower depth of field. This would highlight the garment and make the background all out of focus, both literally and figuratively.

How to do this? I had no idea, as I had learned about photography back when you manually set your own F stops and shutter speed. On the new digital cameras, I hadn't a clue. So I asked my son, a professional filmmaker and videographer (visit Jake Kovnat at Sons and Daughters in Toronto by clicking here). He told me that all I needed was a "Nifty Fifty" lens, which meant a 50mm lens that you could set at a 1.8 F stop. (Don't ask me; that's all I know.)

So now I'm good to go! Oh yes, about those two warps: They're silk noil, I think a 17/2 weight, that I dyed using WashFast Acid Dyes. The colors are what I call "Chagall," meaning that they derive from one of his wonderful paintings set at midnight with lovers flying through the sky.

The warps are ready to beam for a sample for my upcoming MAFA class, "Paint 2, Beam 1," looking at how to achieve an ever-changing color palette in your weaving by painting two individual warps and beaming and weaving them together as one. (For more on the Mid-Atlantic Fiber Association and its July 2015 conference, click here.)

Here's an example of what you can do with "Paint 2."

Updates to come, as I beam and weave my Chagall warps....

1 comment:

Rachel Biel said...

Cool! I'm glad what I said helped! Yay! Someone's listening! Great photos are SO important for showcasing your work on the web. If people can't touch the garment, try it on, turn it around, photos can help them imagine what it would feel like or look like in their own environment.

The other advice that I have is to crop images to a square as they show up best that way on most platforms. And, give enough space around an object for it to breathe and so that if it gets cropped when it's shared somewhere, most of it will still show up. For example, when a post is shared on facebook, facebook crops the image to a rectangle, meaning that a lot of heads get chopped off if someone is modeling a sweater...

Did you see Ariane's Photo Tips post on our TAFA blog? She shows how she progressed and even if you don't take it to the level that she has, some basic skills will help you a lot:

Have fun with your new camera! Hopefully, that son of yours can teach you some basics and then you can take off with it! :)

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