How to Photograph Your Knitting:  Lighting

How to Photograph Your Knitting: Lighting

Fun adKnits fact: I used to side gig as a wedding and family photographer.

I didn't do it for terribly long and didn't exactly have a steady stream of business, so I quit. Also, I kinda hated it. 

The people were lovely but the job was super-stressful.

Long story short, I know a thing or two about photography and thought that I'd dedicate a few posts on how to best photograph your knitting projects.  After you've spent months on a sweater, you deserve some decent pics of your project, right?

My next few blog posts will each have a couple tips and tricks to up your Ravelry game and get the most out of your project photos.  

Today's post is all about... LIGHTING.

Lighting is the thing that will really make or break your photo.  Too much or too little and what's in the photo won't even be visible.

Tip #1:  Use Natural Light
Use natural light by taking your photographs either outside or by a window.  Lamps and overhead lighting cause weird colors and shadows, and are often too dark to get a clear picture.  If you use light from a window, turn off any lights in the room that might add a yellow glow.

Skiff Hat

For instance, I took this Skiff Hat picture with my iPhone in portrait mode with the camera turned for a selfie.  I turned off all the lights in the dining room and stood by a window to get the natural light.


Tip #2:  Use Diffused Light
Diffused light is light that is soft and comes from all directions, i.e. not direct sunlight.  You'll find this on cloudy days and in shady areas.  Avoid taking your photos in full sun and don't use flash (unless you know what you're doing).  If using a shady area, make sure it's full shade and not dappled so you don't wind up with weird bright spots where the sun got through.

Bough Hat

For example, this picture was taken on my back deck.  Why?  Because it's was the only shady area in the yard!  No weird shadows or sunny spots because the lighting is even.


Tip #3:  Use the Golden Hour
The Golden Hour is the half hour right before sunset or right after sunrise.  It makes for softer lighting, and pretty golden and pink tones.

Clarke Pullover

For example, this photo was taken right as the sun was going down and was no longer casting direct light on the beach.  The soft light is giving the sky, water, and sand a slight pink tone, and the edges of my hair have a little bit of gold going on.

Hopefully this gives you a little bit of an edge in getting better photographs for your knitting projects!  If you try any of these tips out, I'd definitely love to see the results!

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