Photocalypse: Too Much Light

Normally when I’m photographing things I want ALL THE LIGHT. When I’m using the light box I have 6 different lamps surrounding the box from all angles. I LOVE light. Until I have to photograph something white. If I have to capture something white then it seems like I have to do it in the dark in order to get any depth in the photo AT ALL. I thought today would be dim enough to do some white photography, but it was still a pain. Today’s prompt was “buttons” so I finally picked out some buttons for my Tilting TARDIS Cowl.

Staging and lighting: I put the cowl and the buttons on a table in my mother’s room in front of a window. It’s a window facing the neighbor’s house, so there isn’t much room for the light to sneak in. It was really cloudy today too. I even turned off the overhead light so there was only light source in this photo.

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Instagram edits: Rise filter and border

Computer edits: cropped, decreased exposure, increased saturation, increased definition a lot, increased highlights to the max

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

There were only a few filters in Instagram that didn’t completely obscure the contours of the buttons and Rise seemed to be the best option. When I was editing the photo on the computer I concentrated on just the first button and pretty much ignored the rest of the photo. I really wanted to show the angles on that button! This was the best I could do. It doesn’t really show the cool pattern that made me pick these buttons over all the rest. It looks very TARDIS-y, trust me. I’m not sure how much darker it needs to be in order to get a decent photo of white things…

 

 

Photocalypse: Hall of Mirrors

When I saw a bunch of mirror selfies coming across my Instagram feed I knew today must be “mirror” day for the photo challenge. I’ll be damned if I’m going to shower just for an Instagram pic though, so I had to come up with a way to take a picture of a mirror without my reflection in it.

Staging and lighting: I went back into the bathroom for this one. First I cleaned the mirrors (you’re welcome, mom), then I cleared off the ledge in front of the center mirror. I left the magnifying mirror up though. With both cupboards open as far as they could go I was able to create a sort of “hall of mirrors” effect. I stuck my hand in there and blindly took photos until I found an angle that worked.

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Instagram edits: Rise filter and border

Computer edits: cropped, enhanced, returned saturation to normal (“enhance” jacked it up way too much), increased exposure, decreased contrast

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

Once again, the Instagram filter just makes this photo look more “put together” to me. I’m getting more and more irritated at my inability to recreate some of these effects with iPhoto.

 

Photocalypse: First Day of Fall

Today was the first day of fall, so I’m guessing that’s why today’s prompt was “autumn.” It actually felt like fall today too. It was cold(ish), windy, and rainy. I decided to shoot the decrepit shed in my neighbor’s backyard. I’ve sort of been obsessed with that shed ever since we moved here. Over the last 15 years or so I’ve watched this shed age as it’s been left completely unattended by the neighbor. I have sketched it many times in many different mediums, and since I started dabbling in photography I’ve photographed it many times too. There’s always lots of moss and lichen growing on it which makes it feel autumnal to me, even in the middle of summer.

Staging and lighting: I went outside, once again armed with a broom to clear away any potential spider webs in my path. This time it was merely precautionary though, since it had been raining fairly hard all day and the spider webs had mostly washed away by then. I was trying to wait until it was lighter out, but it was still pretty dark by 1 pm so I figured it was as light as it was going to get. It was still actively raining when I took the photo.

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Instagram edits: cropped, tilt-shift vertically, Hefe filter with border

Computer edits: cropped, decreased exposure, increased contrast, increased yellow, decreased green

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

The Hefe filter was able to add a nice warm glow to the photo that made the whole thing look even more autumnal than the original shot. I tried to imitate it with the computer editing, but it just didn’t turn out as nice. The light coming through the trees was dulled down too much in the computer edited photo, while the tilt-shift in the Instagram made it glow.

Photocalypse: On the Street

Today’s task was to photograph a street. I could have been super lazy and just photographed the street in front of my house, but as long as I had pants on I decided to escape the impenetrable tree canopy that surrounds my neighborhood.

Staging and lighting: I found a decently lit street and parked. It was very sunny out and the picture was taken at about 1:30 pm. It was so bright out in fact, that I had that unfortunate problem of not really being able to see what was on the screen as I was taking the photos. I took the photos in the shadow of a small line of trees and hedges.

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Instagram edits: cropped, Rise filter with border

Computer edits: cropped and enhanced

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

Considering I couldn’t see AT ALL when I was taking these, I got some pretty good shots! I think I’ve learned what angles work best by now so I don’t really have to scrutinize the screen in order to be sure to get a good photo. I just had to watch for the yellow square to show up indicating that the camera is in focus. By getting on the ground I was able to imitate my favorite effect (tilt-shift) without any edited required! Blurry foreground, blurry background, middle plane in focus, and ta-da! Tilt-shift! I barely had to touch these photos and they both look great!

 

Photocalypse: A Twofer

Yesterday’s photo prompt was “ground” so I had this great idea that I would go out as the sun was setting and take a picture of the ground in some nice soft golden light. Then I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until it was dark out. Oops.

It rained today so I just took a picture of the wet fir-needle covered ground.

Staging and lighting: I walked outside a few paces, and pointed the camera at the ground. It was about 4:30 pm and it was actively raining. The sun was not visible.

Instagram edits: tilt-shift horizontally, lux, X-Pro II with border

Computer edits: cropped, enhanced, increased definition

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

The Instagram version is way better. The tilt-shift adds so much depth to these kind of photos that the computer version really can’t compare. The more I rag on the lack of tilt-shift in iPhoto, the more I realize I probably should just find another editing program that has that function. Something that does borders too would be awesome.

Today’s prompt was “favorite tool” and there was no question what I would be photographing. I LOVE my Signature needles! They truly are the perfect needles. They are super smooth, but have just the slightest texture to the needle shaft so it grips the stitches. The points are perfectly smooth though so you can make your stitches quickly and easily. The joins on the circulars are the smoothest I’ve ever encountered and I’ve never had a cable tangle or get my way. They’re just PERFECT!

Staging and lighting: I decided to try the inner bathroom this time. There’s just an overhead light in there, but it’s a tiny room so the light doesn’t have to travel far to hit its mark. I wrapped all of my Signature circulars around the shower rod and stood on the edge of the tub to get the shot.

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Instagram edits: tilt-shift horizontally concentrated along top of image, Amaro filter with border

Computer edits: cropped, enhanced, increased exposure a bit, increased blue

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edited with iPhoto

I like the way the computer edit kept the shiny look of the metal needles, but the softness added to the Instagram with the filter is also a good look. They’re kind of mutually exclusive though…

 

Multiple WIPs Are Cracked and a Confession

Let’s start with the confession just so we can get it out of the way and hopefully you’ll have forgotten about it by the end of this post. Today’s photo prompt was “guilty pleasure.” I could have thought of some BS guilty pleasure to show everyone, but I was just too lazy for lies. I actually photographed something that makes me feel a little bit dirty every time I do it.  So, since that’s what I used for my Instagram photo I guess I have to fess up here on the blog too.

I’m a rubbernecker. There are all kinds of rubberneckers, the most well-known being those who gawk at car-accidents, but I’m a very specific breed of rubbernecker. I LOVE reading drama on the Ravelry forums. People behave badly on the internet all the time, and Ravelry is no exception, so when a throwdown starts in a thread I want to read every juicy second of it. It’s like watching a slap-fight on Jerry Springer. I’m not alone in this. There’s a whole group dedicated to locating drama and poking fun at the sheer spectacle of it, so I took a photo of the group page on my computer screen for the Instagram challenge. I’m not going to link them here for your own good. If you really want to find them you can look them up on Ravelry yourself and then figure out a way to live with your shame.

Staging: This is probably the weirdest photo I’ve ever taken…I just pointed the camera at my computer screen. I did expand the screen so all my bookmarks aren’t visible and zoomed in to the group header so it was easier to see what was going on, but that’s it for staging. Just point and shoot.

Instagram edits: cropped, tilt-shift horizontally, Sierra filter and border

Computer edits: cropped and enhanced

kind of edited with iPhoto

kind of edited with iPhoto

I only did the computer edit for the sake of continuity. There was really nothing to edit. I have no idea what to do with a picture of a computer screen. That being said, I like the Instagram better. The filter and the tilt-shift added some interest to it.

On to the WIPs!

I did some more work on the yarnbombing this week. I have quite a few fragments made at this point and yesterday I started piecing some of them together. Here are just four pieces pinned together and two more fragments waiting to find their neighbors. See how they’re kind of like a puzzle? That’s basically how freeform works.

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Ducky is also inching closer and closer to completion! I finished coloring the upper jaw.

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Then I attached the upper jaw to the head and started using some of the pre-felted pieces to form the cheeks.

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Before I attached the cheeks I decided to work on the nose. I decided to just start slapping random colors on at this point to stretch the wool supply. As long as I use light colors or other shades of green it should all be pretty easy to cover. I put the basic shape of the nose together and then needed to add a bit more around the edge. Once I attached the middle of a long piece of felt to the front of the nose it looked like Ducky had a moustache, so I decided that was the perfect time to pause for a picture.

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Then I attached the cheek shapes and started filling in some of the gaps with green.

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Ducky almost has a face!

Photocalypse: The Bluest Blue That Ever Blued

Today’s prompt was “blue” so I decided to do a full photo shoot of the bluest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s a skein of indigodragonfly Merino Single Lace in the colorway TARDIS.

When this skein showed up at my house I think I ended up staring at it for at least 5 minutes straight before I was able to put it down…and then I kept coming back to it to stare some more. It’s so hypnotically blue I had a hard time looking away! It’s the first skein I’ve ever considered NOT knitting with. I sort of wanted to buy a museum-quality display case for it and set it up in the middle of the living room with spotlights on it so I could just admire it instead of knitting with it. I think I’ve snapped out of it by now. I’m planning on turning it into a Rock Island shawl at some point in the near-ish future, but I may get gun-shy when it comes time to actually wind it into a ball. We’ll see what happens.

Staging and lighting: I braved the spider-infested outdoors for these photos. I went outside with a broom to clear a path to the side yard. I ran into at least five spider webs along the way. They’re trying to encase our house in webs. Creepy bastards. I set the yarn up on the fence between our house and the neighbor’s house. The photos were taken at about 10 am on a very cloudy day and (as always) surrounded by trees. The three photos I took are the only visible breaks in the canopy from the side yard.

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Instagram edits: cropped, tilt-shift diagonally, Lo-Fi filter and border

Computer edits: cropped, enhanced, increased blue just a smidge, increased sharpness, increased saturation until it resembled the OMG BLUE that it looks like in real life

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

This was a hard one for me. When it comes to photographing yarn and finished projects I get VERY SERIOUS about color and texture accuracy and Instagram is not exactly the right platform for that type of photography. I tried to just edit it as a regular photo and not as a YARN! photo, but I just couldn’t do it. My top priority in picking the Instagram filter was to get the blue right and the Lo-Fi filter got pretty close, though it darkened the skein a bit. Following the rules I set for myself at the beginning of this challenge, I chose the photo I was going to Instagram and comparatively edit just by evaluating them on my phone. I picked that one because I was able to crop out some of the more distracting background elements within the square confines of the Instagram frame and it looked like a clear photo. When I reviewed the photos on the computer I realized that the one I picked for Instagram would not have been the one I would have picked if I had seen them on my larger computer screen. It’s a bit fuzzy. I did my best to counteract that by sharpening the image, but that has a tendency to make the photo look grainy. I was able to get a pretty good representation of the color with the computer edit though.

Since photographing yarn is such serious business for me I went ahead and edited the rest of the photos I took. From the angle I chose for the Instagram, here is the photo I would have picked if I had seen it on the computer:

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It’s much clearer! I didn’t have to sharpen it at all. As you can see, I crop my images differently on the computer than I do in Instagram, so those distracting background elements that weren’t a problem in Instagram are still a problem here. It fits the thumbnail image size for the Ravelry stash page much better though. That is the ratio and size I keep in mind when cropping photos since that’s where the vast majority of my photos end up.

When choosing from all of the shots, this is my favorite:

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I was able to get the blue just right in this photo! On my screen this is exactly what the skein looks like in real life. Isn’t it glorious?

 

Photocalypse: In My Project Bag

Today’s prompt for the Instagram challenge was “in my project bag.” I’ve been hauling around this project bag full of yarn scraps for over a week now, so it’s time you get a peek inside! This is mainly what I’ve been using to make my freeform fragments for the yarnbombing project.

Staging and lighting: This time I went to what could possibly be the best-lit room in the house – my bedroom. I have the same dim overhead light as the other bedrooms, but it’s bolstered by a standing lamp with a reading light attachment next to my bed. I emptied the contents of the bag onto my bed and pointed the reading lamp at the pile of scraps.

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Instagram edits: cropped, lux, Sierra filter with border

Computer edits: cropped, enhanced, increased blue, increased sharpness

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

I really like what the lux function did with the Instagram photo, so that one is the clear winner in this pairing. Everything came out so much more defined and the darker areas were lightened without washing out the whole photo.

 

Photocalypse: I Want a Pony

Today’s theme is “want” and I’m currently DYING to get my hands on a certain pony-themed self-striping yarn from a dyer-who-shall-not-be-named-who-may-or-may-not-be-going-out-of-business. I’m even selling some of my stash so I can have some cash in hand in case someone loses their mind and decides to let go of their skein of this glorious yarn. I never sell my stash. Never.

Staging and lighting: Today I went back into my sister’s lair to photograph her shelf full of ponies. Same lighting – just a dim overhead light – but on the other side of the room on the top shelf of a bookshelf, so there are more shadows involved. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but that shelf is almost entirely filled with pony figurines. I pulled Rainbow Dash and the other mane six (well, five – Fluttershy is missing) to the front of the shelf to catch the most light.

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Instagram edits: tilt-shift circular, lux, Hudson with border

Computer Edits: cropped, enhanced, increased exposure, increased blue, decreased shadows to minimum, increased saturation

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

Hudson proved to be the best filter to get the bright colors of the ponies to come through and correct for the yellowing from the terrible lighting. iPhoto was able to correct for the color much better though. If I could combine the colors of the iPhoto and the tilt-shift and border of the Instagram this would be a perfect shot.

Photocalypse: All About the Lincolns, Baby

Today’s prompt was “need” and lately I’ve been seeing lots of great de-stashes on Ravelry and have been in need of funds to buy them!

Staging and lighting: This one was taken in my mother’s bedroom which only has an overhead light, like my sister’s. Her walls are painted a much lighter color though. I lightly taped a $5 bill to the red cityscape painting.

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Instagram edits: cropped, tilt-shift circular, lux, Hudson filter and border

Computer edits: cropped, enhanced, increased contrast, increased definition

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

For once I found a use for the circular version of tilt-shift – in this case it highlights Lincoln’s face and combined with the lux function, the angle of photography, and the right filter it makes his face look like it’s popping out of the bill! There were a couple of filters that seemed to produce this effect, but Hudson seemed the most pronounced to me. I tried using the edge blur in iPhoto to create the same effect, but it just looks like crap. The edge blur effect is pretty much useless. I demand a tilt-shift button!