Turning Straw into Gold

I will freely admit, that while I ADORE to look at luscious yarn and knitting photographs, taking them and editing them are not some of my favorite activities. It is something that I persevere through, though, because the results always make me feel I have spun straw into gold.

The monotony of photographing yarn for sale never fails to make me feel anxious and make me want to bang my head against the keyboard.  I think this is exacerbated by the fact that I put it off until I have a whole batch of yarn to photograph.  After all, if I’m going to pull out the backdrop, my tripod, and wait for the lighting to be right, I might as well get as much of it over with all at once as possible.   I am always stunned by the final image, but the process that I go through, is not so exciting.  I do the same 4 poses for each lot of yarn.  While I can be creative with my personal projects, when I am photographing something I plan on selling, I must have clear, intriguing, and enlightening photographs.  I want to have 1 shot that is close up and draws the viewer in, 1 shot of the entire skein as it will look when the customer receives it, 1 shot of the label information, and 1 shot of the yarn for scale purposes.  This doesn’t leave much room for creativity.

I take at least 2 shots in each pose of each yarn I am photographing that day (sometimes more).  That means that if I am photographing 5 yarns, I have to take 40 shots.  I then have to take those 40 shots to my computer and pick the best 4 of each yarn.  I cut it down to 20 shots that then have to be individually edited.  Even if my lighting is good, I still need to crop the images, and check the brightness and contrast of each and every one, working the magic that is photoshop

While this whole process makes me want to run away screaming most days, I have to admit that when I see the final image looking back at me from the screen I can’t help but think.  “Wow! I would buy that yarn!”

Below you can see the process of images for some stunning Recycled Mercerized Cotton I added to my shop today.  You can see I use a plain white fleece blanket as my backdrop.  I place the yarn on my west facing couch and take the pictures in the early afternoon when the light fills my living room, but hasn’t yet moved to shine directly through the window.  Looking at the final shot, I can’t help but think how proud Rumpelstiltskin would be of my own skein of gold spun from straw.

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One Response

  1. nice blog post! It really does look like spun gold – nice picture, worth all the work!

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