Photocalypse: Friday the 13th

Today’s photo prompt was “number,” and being Friday the 13th I knew exactly which number to use!

Staging and lighting: I went in my sister’s cave for this one. The only lighting in there is the dim overhead and the walls are super dark. I put a row counter on her shelf (it’s empty because it’s only used as a cat highway). It’s so dark in there that when I took the first shot the flash came on! I had to turn off the auto-flash to get the photos.

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here's what the photo looks like with the flash

here’s what the photo looks like with the flash

Instagram edits: tilt-shift horizontally, lux, Sutro filter, border

Computer edits: cropped, enhanced, edge blur x7, increased blue, decreased saturation, decreased exposure a lot, decreased shadows to the minimum, increased definition to maximum, increased contrast

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

I tried to edit the photos to look somewhat ominous. The filters in Instagram were actually able to do some really cool stuff with this picture and it was hard to choose just one! Some of them made the colors look really bright and happy, the black and white filters made it look pretty neat, and the Toaster filter looked awesome! I picked Sutro because it made it look dark and moody without obscuring too much detail. I did my best to duplicate that feel in iPhoto and had to go through A LOT of edits to even get close. I really wish there was a tilt-shift function in iPhoto. There’s a “blur edge” effect, but it’s circular instead of horizontal bands and it looks pixelated and weird. I like the Instagram better.

Edit: Apparently this is my 113th post too! PERFECT!

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Photocalypse: Stitch Markers

I decided to just try out every single room in the house to test their photography potential. I haven’t tried the bathroom yet, so that’s where I went for today’s photo: stitch markers.

Staging and lighting: The bathroom has vanity lighting above the mirrors, so it is well-lit, but the lights are pretty high up and only on the one wall. I hung my stitch marker ring on the handle of one of the cabinets and opened the cabinet door until the most light was hitting the stitch markers.

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For the Instagram, I cropped it close and used the Nashville filter with a border.

For the computer edits I just did my usual routine – crop, enhance, increase blue.

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

The bathroom has some pretty decent lighting! I do have to say one thing about the Instagram filter though…I like what the Nashville filter does to the photo, but the border is just weird. I could have gone without the border I suppose, but I like having a border! The photos look kind of weird without them in Instagram. I just wish I could get a border with that filter that doesn’t have a bunch of numbers on it.

WIP-Cracking Wednesday AND Photocalypse!

First the WIP-Cracking

My week was mostly spent working on the yarnbombing. There was some family health drama and I was in need of portable crafting, so no needle felting progress this time.

I’m running with the Welcome to Night Vale theme and have been working in as many references as possible. So far I’ve made the Eye, red dots, a tentacle, a bunch of amorphous shapes and I’ve started sewing suckers onto the tentacle. I made a glow cloud at some point, but then I decided it was neither glowy nor cloudy enough and ripped it out. I may make another attempt at it. We’ll see.

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Photocalypse

Today’s prompt was “shoes” and seeing as I don’t really own any super-cute shoes like everyone else seems to be Instagramming I decided to go a more realistic route. I didn’t want to photograph boring empty shoes though, and it’s kind of hard to take pictures of your own feet so I asked my sister to be my stand-in. She pretty much only wears sandals though, which is fine since I have a very similar pair, but having bare feet in the photo just seemed…boring? odd? I dunno, so I told her to put on some socks. I’m a knitter though, so of course they had to be hand-knit socks. So basically I threw “realism” out the window during the course of staging this photograph because these are not my shoes, or my feet, and I don’t actually wear socks with sandals despite my geographical affiliation. I’m a bad North-westerner I guess.

Staging and lighting: There were two main light sources for this one – the dining room lights to the right and the standing lamp to the left and in front. I had my sister stand on a chair both to bring her closer to the light sources and to avoid doing detailed photography of the cat hair carpet.

light source on the right

light source on the right

light source on the left

light source on the left

location of lamp in relation to chair

location of lamp in relation to chair

For the Instagram I cropped the photo and used the Hudson filter with a border. The unedited photo was very yellow and the Hudson filter added the most blue to counteract that.

On the computer I cropped the image, enhanced it, and increased the blue.

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

It’s still nowhere near true-to-color. Conclusion: the living room lights are way too yellow to be a useful light source. If I want to do living room photography without the benefit of natural light I’ll have to switch out all the bulbs.

 

Photocalypse: How to Make Stuff Up

I’ve been attempting to knit and crochet this entire yarn bomb freeform, which is quite a feat considering how much of a control freak I am. I actually had to read a book in order to learn how to make stuff up as I go along. This is the book I’ve been reading.

Staging and lighting: I put the book on the footrest of my recliner. The lighting here is a bit odd. It’s mostly from the entryway light which is behind and to the left of the foot of the recliner.

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Instagram edits: cropped closer, used tilt-shift vertically and moved it so it didn’t obscure the title and author, used the lux function, Hudson filter, and border

Computer edits: cropped, enhanced, and increased the blue

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

Conclusion: this is a really bad spot for photography. The lighting is just too weird. It’s a wonder how I get so much crafting done in this chair.

Photocalypse: Puff o’clock

Sometimes a project can fit into very neat intervals of time. A row that takes exactly 10 minutes to knit, a pattern repeat that takes 5 minutes to get through, a stripe of color that lasts for 30 minutes. Today’s photo prompt was “time,” so these are the things that came to mind. Hexipuffs represent an especially tidy amount of time – 45 minutes. In other words, for every single episode of most shows I watch on Netflix I can complete one hexipuff.

Staging: same as the “on the table” shot of my disassembled yarn bomb, except I held up the hexipuff under the lights instead of laying it on the table (which is still covered in yarn).

For the Instagram shot I zoomed in a tad so the puff filled the frame more, used the vertical tilt-shift function (the water droplet thing) and adjusted the blurred sections so they weren’t covering the puff (turns out you CAN move them around!), used the Lux setting, the Mayfair filter, and the border.

For the computer edit I cropped it, enhanced it, and increased the blue until the wall was no longer gray-brown and looked more like it does in real life.

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

This was hard to pick a filter for in Instagram. None of them looked quite right. I just went with whatever showed the most range of color and conveyed some of the brightness of the yarn. The computer edited photo is much better.

Photocalypse: Freeform

Around 3 pm I came out to the living room and noticed a bit of sunlight on the couch. I decided to take advantage of it for today’s photography prompt – texture.

Staging and lighting: I tossed the freeform fragments I made yesterday into the ray of sunshine on the couch and tucked all the loose ends underneath them.

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I used the Hefe filter and border in Instagram.

I cropped and enhanced the photo in iPhoto.

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

Photocalypse: Disassembled Yarn Bomb

I’m blogging super early/way late at night again because I’m heading out of town in the morning. Today’s prompt was “on the table” and I had just finished picking through my stash to find yarn I could use for an upcoming yarn bombing operation. I needed to take a photo anyway for my project page, so I’m killing two birds with one stone for this one.

If you’re wondering what a “yarn bomb” is, I’m sorry I don’t really have time to fully explain it in this post. It’s sort of like knitted graffiti, but not illegal (usually). I’ll do a full write-up on it at a later date, perhaps after I’ve finished my portion of this yarn bomb so I can show you pictures.

Staging: All the yarn was laid out on the table in my bedroom that I usually have my light box set up on. I turned on 3 of the lamps for added lighting because my overhead light is so dim.

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For the Instagram version I used the lux function and the Sierra filter with a border.

For the iPhoto edited version I broke out my “serious editing” eye since this photo will be on the Ravelry project page. I didn’t really need it though – it required very little editing! I just cropped it to match the Instagram, used the enhance function and increased the exposure a bit. The colors look pretty accurate!

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

Photocalypse: Night Blogging

Sometimes I get crazy ideas at night. Sometimes those ideas turn out to be a fabulous spark of creativity, and sometimes they’re just too weird to actually work. I’m still not sure which category this idea falls into.

The next prompt for the Instagram challenge is “door” and I’m not sure why, but the first door that popped into my mind was the garage door. The garage creeps me out because it’s been completely overrun by spiders, so I thought maybe I should try to get a creepy photograph of it. “Creepy” is not my usual photography style, so I decided to just do the exact opposite of what I usually do and see what happens.

I enabled the flash on my camera and went outside in the dead of night without any lights on in the middle of a rainstorm. There wasn’t even any moonlight to see by, it was pitch black. I opened the garage door slightly and snapped a few pics.

For the Instagram photo I was forced to crop it to show only the top section of the door. I wanted the whole door in the frame, but it was really hard to see what I was doing in the dark. I used the Lux setting (that’s the little sun icon – I looked up what it’s called) and the Hefe filter with a border.

For the iPhoto editing I had stumbled onto completely new territory…I have no idea what to do with myself if I’m not correcting for color accuracy or clarity. I fumbled about with all of the buttons until I settled on the following edits:

I cropped it to match the Instagram, increased the definition to the max, used the boost effect x3, fade effect x1, and edge blur x4.

iPhoto editing

iPhoto editing

I still don’t know how I feel about this. They both look odd to me. I sort of like the Instagram more because it almost looks more like a painting than a photo. Neither of them really seem to convey the creep-fest that is the garage.

 

Photocalypse: Future Fair Isle

I have this crazy idea that I’m going to design a Fair Isle project. I’ve never actually done Fair Isle before. Clearly I’m insane. In any case, some of the most gorgeous examples of Fair Isle use multiple colors that gradually shift from dark to light. In order to pick out the right colors for this sort of effect it’s helpful to view the yarn in black and white so you can accurately assess their value.

Today’s #yarnpadc was “black and white” so I decided to take that opportunity to look at my possible choices for Fair Isle projects!

Staging and lighting were pretty much identical to yesterday – early morning light, diffused through the clouds of a gathering storm. I could hear thunder as I snapped these pics! I pre-sorted the yarn in the light box into what I thought would be the right value gradient and then laid them all out on a pillowcase in the backyard.

I’m going to show you the color photo first – this one was cropped and enhanced in iPhoto.

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For the Instagram version I just cropped it a bit and applied the Willow filter and border.

For the iPhoto version I just did the light editing I already mentioned and then applied the “black & white” effect.

edited in iPhoto

edited in iPhoto

There are only two black and white filters in Instagram, and when I was testing them both out on the phone Willow looked the best. Inkwell looked too harsh. Now on the computer Willow looks way too soft. I decided to try it in Inkwell too, so here’s what it looks like using the Inkwell filter and border in Instagram.

It is a bit harsh. It looks like it’s overexposed or something. In this case, as a photograph I prefer the Willow-filtered Instagram, but as an instructional picture I feel like the iPhoto edited version is more accurate.

Also, I’m pretty smug about the fact that I seemed to put everything in the correct value order. Cora and Mrs. Patmore (fourth and fifth from the right on the top row) should switch places and the red that is the third from the right on the bottom row is misplaced (maybe should be the fourth or fifth from the left instead?), but that’s all I would change.

 

WIP-Cracking Wednesday: Ducky Progress Report

You know, when I posted this morning I forgot that the sun rising means that it’s tomorrow. Or today. Whatever, the point is, it hadn’t hit me yet that today is in fact WEDNESDAY and not still Tuesday. Let’s have a Ducky progress report!

When we left off, I was coloring Ducky’s spine. I stopped bothering to update you on it because it took approximately eleventy-billion years to finish it. It would have been easier to cover the little spine bumps if I had made them in the dark green instead of black, but at the time I was worried about running out of dark green wool. In retrospect I would have had plenty of wool to work with. Covering all those bumps with green while maintaining their shape is HARD. Even as I continued outlining the rest of the dark green area and filling it in I kept coming back to the spine bumps and finding areas that still had black peeking through.

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Finally after I finished coloring the body things started to get interesting! I began building Ducky’s lower jaw. Partway through this process I realized I had sort of unconsciously been building it anatomically. I started with the bone structure of the jaw.

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Then I started connecting it together with tendons and muscle.

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Next I made the tongue and started on the skin.

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Until finally I had a complete lower jaw!

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At this point I had to pause and consider how I should proceed. I had two options that I could see; build the rest of the head on the lower jaw and attach it to the neck when I’m done, or attach the lower jaw to the neck now and build the rest of the head from there. If I built the head first and attached it to the body later I would have more freedom to manipulate the head as I add in more detail, but I might have trouble making a solid bond with the neck and I would run the risk of screwing up the proportions. If I attach the lower jaw to the body now and build the rest of head while attached to the body the head was sure to be attached to the neck in the most stable way possible and it would be easier to maintain the correct proportions, but it may be harder to get the level of detail needed if I have to fight with the whole body rather than just a small head.

I decided the risk of having a disproportioned head that wouldn’t stay up was too much to bear, so I attached the lower jaw to the neck and started building up the back of the head.

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For the base of the head I had used a core of white wool because it’s so much easier to layer color onto than the black wool. I started running low on the white wool though, so for the crown of the head I decided to use some of the leftover dark green wool as the core.¬†I also started filling a few of the gaps with some previously felted bits of white wool.

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For the upper jaw I went back to using the black wool as the base because for this section I knew I would have to layer on the final colors pretty thick anyway.

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So there you have it! I’ve set the other felting projects aside for now because¬†Ducky is coming together pretty quickly now that the body is finished!