I was super excited to see Beth's new photography link up. I feel pretty comfortable with my camera (which came from A LOT of practice), but I wanted to participate because I feel very uncreative when it comes to taking photos of finished quilts. And I am certainly no pro, I am always on the lookout for tips!
Some info about how I take photos:
- My camera is a Nikon d7000. I adore this camera.
- I primarily use a Nikon 35mm 1.8 lens which is a prime lens. If you aren't familiar with what this is, it has a fixed focal length and can't zoom. That makes it smaller and lighter and, while I do have to take a few steps further back to photograph entire quilts since I can't zoom out, it means that I can shoot at a low aperture which helps gives photos that blurred background look (bokeh). Plus the primarily reason I got interested in photography was for taking pictures of my kids and prime lenses are great for portraits. I do have a zoom lens but I can't even remember the last time I used it.
- I take 100% of my photos in manual mode. It takes some practice but it is completely worth it.
I ordered this stack of fabric from Stash Modern Fabric a few weeks ago as a preorder and was super happy and surprised when it showed up this week since I had forgotten about it :)
|ISO2000 1/250 f/2.5|
Most lenses will significantly start to lose sharpness at a certain aperture and that definitely varies from lens to lens. For my lens that is f/2.5. The photo above is taken at f/2.5 and the one below is taken at f/1.8. The one below has more bokeh, but it's not a ton more and I generally don't think it is worth sacrificing sharpness. This one actually turned out okay, but I generally try to stay at or above f/2.5 unless I am in a super low light situation of I am going for the super-blurry-background effect.
|ISO1000 1/250 f/1.8|
I do most of my post processing in Lightroom. There are great photo programs that are free (Picasa, iPhoto, etc.) but if you are a little more serious about taking photos Lightroom is a great option. Unless you are going pro, Photoshop is overkill. I load all photos into the program and make a couple of quick adjustments. The adjustments that I usually make are:
- White balance. Since my apartment is dark and shady, most of my photos are too cool (blue). I just warm them up a bit by increasing the yellow in the photo.
- I generally increase the brightness and contrast just a tad. Just to give them a little pop.
- I always sharpen photos so they look nice and crisp.
You can see the difference that post processing makes in this photo. Some photos need it more than others, this one didn't need it too much but I think it's worth the extra effort.
I hope that some of this info is helpful and I would be happy to go into more detail if there is any interest. I am looking forward to reading all of the posts in the linkup!