Sunday, 28 September 2014

Photographs

Morning Lovelies! I do hope you are all having a fantastic weekend?
I've had a great week! My Mum and Nan have been visiting and what a magical time we've had together!
So.... Todays post is a bit of a strange one, as it's a little on the technical side EEEEEEEK!!
Over the past weeks, I've been receiving a lot of messages/emails asking me about the photographs I take for my blog. Lots of people are wandering how I achieve the look/style of my photographs, especially my projects against a totally white background. So I thought I take this opportunity to write a little post and hopefully answer some of the questions that you gorgeous people have asked!

I guess photography has become as big a hobby as my project making. I enjoy it immensely and spend a huge amount of time trying to get the perfect shot.  Thats why a couple of years ago I splashed out and brought myself a decent camera.


A Canon eos 600d is my choice of camera, armed with a 15-85mm  lens that gives me the option of zooming in and out on a picture. What a world of difference this camera has made to my blogging experience.
I'm not going to pretend I even know what half of the functions do, but what I do know is it gives me the options of taking some really nice shots.


Looking back through my previous posts and pictures I feel like I have two major styles of photographs. The first being a project against a white background and the second being one where I heavily style and compose the surroundings of the object I'm photographing.

The photographs I take against a white background are really my favourite. They show off the project I am shooting with clean crisp results. Not to mention when these photographs are placed against my blogs white background  you get the illusion that the object is floating on the page...I kind of like that! 


Each of my pictures with a white background are taken in a rather simple way, but the set up is in no way as clean and crisp as the final picture.
I take all off my pictures on top of the white furniture I have at home. using the furniture and my white walls as a backdrop, I can generally get a good picture.
I have a lot of white furniture at home so it's not hard for me to find a surface to use. :-)

Here's my white coffee table pushed up against the wall creating a white room for my turqouise chair to be photographed 
I rely on natural lighting to get a good shot, so if its a particularly dark and gloomy day taking the pictures inside just won't do. In that case, I will often be seen lugging my white coffee table onto the balcony to make the most of the lighting outside. When I work outside, I hang a piece of white cardboard as the backdrop (essentially acting as my white wall) and seal the join from the table to the paper with a strip of white tape. This is so that I don't have a dark shadowy line running along the back of my picture.

When it's a little gloomy and I need the extra light, I'll take my pictures outside. 
I turn up the exposure on my camera so I can get the white background as white as possible withough distorting the colour of the object I'm photographing. My pictures end up looking something like these:



I then (of course) give my pictures a good editing on my laptop. I work on a macbook air, and so it's nice and easy to pop the memory card from my camera into the side of the laptop and load my pictures pretty fast. Because of the convenience of this, I end up taking tons of photographs so that I have lots of options to work with.

Normally I start by cropping my picture using iPhoto and trimming out any unwanted edges:


I then have a little play around with adjusting the exposure and playing with the contrasts of the colours. This usually sorts out any of the dark shadows left from the background.


And I'm done! Nice clear white background!

Sometimes I have pictures that I've taken and the background isn't quite so simple to edit. In this case I use a slightly more advanced programme on my laptop, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.
This programme is amazing because you can select specific areas to lighten, blur out or adjust, something that iPhoto doesn't allow.
Take a look at just how heavily I can adjust the picture below:

Original picture
I crop to  the area I want to work with

Using Adobe Lightroom I can adjust specific areas taking out any darkness or shadowing that I don't want. 
Here's my final picture! 
As for the other pictures on my blog. I tend not to edit them quite so much! Instead I work a lot more on the set up and style of the picture before I take it. Creating a very stylised picture.


People often comment on how amazingly beautiful my apartment looks in the photos. Yes.. my apartment is lovely, but the pictures are definitely not the reality. For the picture below I literally rearranged my whole apartment. The sofa, coffee table and rug were moved so that I could use the wall with the pictures hanging.
The bedside table was moved from the bedroom into the living room. Then I added a few boxes and props that normally live in various other areas of the apartment.
Definitely not an easy task! But I did get some nice shots, so it's all worth it in the end.


Other photos are easier.....Here I simply placed some faux flowers on my crocheted blanket and I feel it transformed the picture adding personality and a personal touch to the picture.


I hope this answered a few of your questions and that you have a better understanding off how I setup, take and edit my photographs.
Each photo shoot I have I enjoy immensely and think that the hard work I put into each shot is well worth the finished image I end up with. They are everlasting and memories of each project I take....or at least until my computer crashes!!!! That reminds me I really should do a back up of my laptop!!!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A Week Of Crochet And.... Caterpillars

Hello Lovelies!
How are you all doing?
I'm doing great and just wanted to pop by and say a quick "HELLO". :-)
The sun is out and shining here in Stuttgart, that certainly lifts my spirit!
Over the past week or so I've been full of creativity and have had a rather sudden burst of enthusiasm when it came to my project making.
Last week I decided to start working on another spiral cushion (Pattern here) and loved how quickly I managed to get this beauty together. It took me a couple of afternoons to make and really quenched my desire for a quick, no fuss project.


Of course I had a little photo session once it was finished. Here it is joined up with my other spiral cushion looking rather comfortable together as a set of matching cushions.


Rehearsals have calmed down at work and so having a few extra hours of free time is splendid. 
Of course I fill my extra time with my crafting, but also love to potter around on the balcony at home. 
I love going out onto the balcony and checking the progress of the plants and flowers I have planted. 
The other day I was rather surprised to see that something had been munching the leaves of my Clematis. We're not talking a little nibble, but more of a banquet!


After some close inspection I found this rather jolly fella lurking under one of the leaves. He looked rather content and his belly must definitely be full (judging by the state of my plants). 
He's rather cute and so I'm going to let him continue to munch on my plants. I'll keep track of him and have a look every now and then to see how he's coming along. I wonder what he's going to transform into? I hope a rather magnificent and colourful butterfly! 
  

In other crafting news.... I've been writing up a tutorial for Granny Squares!!
I know there are lots of patterns and tutorials online for the basic square, but I've also had a lot of requests and so thought I'd take a few snaps and jot down the pattern that I like to use. It'll be with you in the next days, for those of you that want it as a handy reference. 


As well as the granny square tutorial, I've started working on another granny square blanket.


I'm enjoying it tremendously, there is something rather soothing about working on hundreds of little squares.


It's going to be a blanket for my Nan, as a gift for Christmas.


I'm making a granny square blanket for my Granny!!! I find that kind of funny and a little ironic!
I'll keep you updated on my progress and share my little variation of the pattern once it's developed a little further!


I do hope you are all having a lovely week!?