July 06, 2005
I no longer need shoe boxes for taking pictures!
I feel that photography is intertwined with knitblogging. Think of one of your favorite knitblogs, and imagine, what would it be like without pictures? Maybe it wouldn't be worse, but it would be different. More generally, photography is intertwined with knitting - how would you feel about the newest Interweave Knits if all the patterns were described in words, for example?
The more I knit and blog, the more I learn about my camera and digital photography. Just a year ago, for example, I had no idea that macro mode exists, and that pictures meant for the internet don't need to be at a resolution higher than 72 pixels/inch. Currently my three biggest photo dilemmas or obstacles are: light, since my apartment doesn't have any except between the hours of 2 and 5:30 p.m., steady hands for crisp photos, and finding painless ways to set up my camera for use in timer mode.
There isn't much I can do about light. I did get a new torchiere lamp in the spring, and sometimes I take photos outside. However, since most often I get the urge to blog and take photos around midnight, the outside option is eh... nearly nonexistent.
Steady hands are a necessity for crisp photos, since the shutter is open for a long time in macro mode (if any digital photo junkies are reading this and saying, no, she got that all wrong, please correct me). From work I'm quite good at steadying myself by anchoring my elbows or supporting one hand with the other, but I don't have surgeons' hands, that's for sure.
The last problem/dilemma/obstacle for me is taking photos in timer mode. You see, I live alone - I have neither roommates nor a significant other. Friends come over once in a while, but taking pictures of me modeling my wears is not high on their list of fun things to do :). Plus, what if I want to take a picture at a random time when no one can come over, like 3 a.m. on a Wednesday :). Bottom line - I end up using timer mode to take pictures of myself. So, I typically stack about 6 shoe boxes on top of my knitting basket, put that on my coffee table, place the camera on top of this pyramid, prop up the camera's rear end with 2 credit cards to get the right angle, and stand in front of my closet:
Ridiculous, right? How far does one go to get a decent blog photo? Now, this far:
Tada! I thought about getting a camera tripod for a really long time, but assumed they would be way out of my budget. Completely wrong! Tripods are really affordable, I got mine for $21! I wouldn't say this is a blog investment, it's more of a knitting investment. I am definitely interested in having high-quality photos of my knitting, and it so happens I often plop them on my blog. Of course, a tripod addresses two of my issues - lack of steady hands, and lack of places to set up my camera for timer mode - great! Look at my new toy in all its glory:
Oh yeah, no more piling shoe boxes on top of the coffee table!
And it goes down really low, for (you know it!) sock photos!
Hey, I see a grumpy knitter who thought she was setting the timer mode, but just ended up taking the picture then and there!
What kind of investments (if any) have you made to improve your photography of knitted items? A new camera? A new lens? Tripod?