Need tips on photographing quilting


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They didn't show up Cheryll.

Don't use the flash on your camera, turn off the overhead light if possible and use sidelighting. I have a big glass door in my studio, so I will turn off the lights and let the window act as the sidelight. That really seems to make the quilting pop.

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My pictures are not the greatest, but I have found that if I lay the quilt over my couch and open the blinds on the window (I guess would count as side lighting :)); turn off the flash on the camera; turn off lights in the room. The only problem I have is that I must be a shake a little :) I never knew that...so I have been putting my little camera on a tv table and take about a million pictures front and back, then sift through them and keep the goods ones.

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Mary Beth,

My hand shakes, too when taking photos. I don't really notice it until I look at the photos. Maybe I just press the picture button too hard. Who knows?

Anyway, I found a great camera that has more bells & whistles than I will ever use. It is the Olympus 750 7.1 Megapixel (means high resolution) 5x optical zoom with Digital Image Stabilizer (DIS). That DIS is what takes the shakes out of my photos. I have noticed a great improvement in my photography. I think the camera is priced about $220.

It also has the option to take a closeup, (with or without flash) like for taking a photo of a motif or even the stitching. On my old camera, it just got blurry when I got too close.

Cheryll - Nothing is better than natural light, for me. my machine is positioned so the light streams in on the machine. I agree that indirect light is better for capturing the quilting texture and shadows on a quilt.

I also hear that keeping the camera even with the item you are shooting makes for a better photo. So instead of shooting up or down at a quit, you should shoot straight even with the quilt. That sounds like it might require squatting a bit to line up your photo. My knees removed the word "squat" from my vocabulary a few years ago so no squatting for me. ;)

The problem with using a flash is that some fabrics have metallics or tints that flashback when you use a flash. The resultant glare seems to drain the color out of the photo. I used to have a hard time with any quilt with Fairy Frost. My new camera does a great job. And if you need a new camera, let your DH take your (bad) quilt photo camera to a ballgame. He is bound to drop it! Then you won't feel bad about buying a new one. :D

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I took the class on photographing your quilts from Marilyn Harper at MQS and she is the one who suggested taking quilt photos without the flash. She says "it washes out the color". Good sidelighting (I guess) is what gives you the true quilt colors.

One thing I forgot to mention earlier is to use a tripod. Shoot straight on to the quilt as mentioned in one of the other posts, not aiming up or down. Tripods are inexpensive and it eliminates the "shake" or blurry photos, you can adjust them for different heights. They work great!

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