Tuesday, 21 December 2010


As I sit here by the window of my studio, I can see the most wondrous sight. The sky is pale blue-grey with a tinge of pale ochre & a dash of cream is starting to appear like a peek into another world, from it an intense ray of gold has appeared, highlighting the frost crusted fields & fluffy hedgerows.

Nearer to my window are my garden trees, majestic with their straight still branches covered in fur, a blue-tit is hopping about & is almost at the very tip, oh now he has flown. Clouds of black specks zoom by on the wing, standing out in high relief to the backdrop of the sky, which is now opening up with a glimpse of cerulean blue peeking through. The majestic conifer trees have been dolloped with icing, highlighting every sinew & curve.

To capture this scene I need a specific type of camera lens, a very expensive one, one that I don't have.  I use a 28 - 80mm lens, this takes great photos between those distances.  For close up work I use extension tubes, as I don't have a macro lens either, but the tubes work really well as long as I shoot in bright daylight, therefore I can take a general picture but how do I keep in the detail?

If you have a digital camera or a camera phone (cell) get out your manual, see what resolution you can take pictures at. For me to capture the detail I need to make sure that I set mine on large format, this will stack my picture with many pixels, lots of the little details.

CHECK YOUR WHITE BALANCE - most people seem to skip learning about this & it is important.

Oh another hole has appeared and looks like a bright diamond shining.

This is how I photograph my textiles.


By a window

Under a daylight bulb if at night

On a white sheet of paper

NOT on automatic but on manual - take the time to learn your camera / phone, there are lots of settings

Lots of pixels

Download Picasa 3, it is free from google. When I studied for my A level photography I used photoshop. Not the most user friendly program & I spent hours & hours faffing about.

Now I find that Picasa does everything I need for Internet up loads

I shoot my pictures, plug in the lead & it automatically loads up Picasa & the photos, I sort out which folder to put them in

Then I open each photo & click - I am feeling lucky, which adjusts the settings, if I don't like what it does, then I undo & adjust manually. This includes cropping - as I have a lot of pixels I can crop really close & still keep detail

I save the settings or I save a new file & then delete all the alterations

I hold all the photos in the box on the bottom left hand side & then export them, I set the pixels to 300. This reduces the size for up loading but still keep information & detail, I also add my copyright here

Wow the diamond has now become a jagged slit & 3 more birds as bathing in it on the branches in front of me, they look fat so there must still be lots of food around, oh flown off now
In the time it has taken to write this on my SMASHEE group & here, the sky has turned a flat grey, the birds have vanished & the fields now look dull.  It is so important to capture images as you see them.  These conditions will never happen again.
The photograph at the top has been taken through a window, a dusty winter marked window so is poor quality but I wanted to share the fabulous subtle colours
For design work this photograph is perfect, interpret the background in fabric & stitch & add the foreground with detail

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Thank you for your comment, regards Shelagh



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