Introduction to Photography for Crocheters and Knitters

How understanding light leads to better crochet and knit photos

If you are like me, you want to take better photos of your products. Better photos aren't just about props or the actual item. Better photos means pleasing images, images that create a feeling, and images that will help sell to your right client.

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When I set out to learn photography, I had been crocheting for many years. I had a passion for making and knew I needed to take pictures of my products if I was going to sell them on Etsy. I had joined Etsy in 2008 and was floored by the amazing photos. I had a point and shoot camera at the time and didn't quite get how to get the same quality photos. My inability to get the photos to look "right" led me down the path of photography.

What I learned as I took online courses, in person training, and countless hours of reading and practice, and not to mention all of the wedding and portrait gigs I did, was that light was the key to better photos. And not just light, but exposure. To get better at taking photos, you need to understand exposure.

In general, photography is about understanding light and how light creates images. A camera’s main function is to interpret light and to use that light to capture an image. Your camera is equipped with various settings that help you establish the right amount of light to get the best picture possible. In order to get the best picture possible you will need to achieve the correct settings. Those settings are achieved by getting the correct exposure.

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What is Exposure?

Exposure is defined as “The quantity of light allowed to act on a photographic material; a product of the intensity (controlled by the lens opening) and the duration (controlled by the shutter speed or enlarging time) of light striking the film or paper.” http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/glossary/terms_e.htm.

In simpler terms, exposure is about how certain camera settings, such as aperture and shutter speed, when used together, create the right amount of light allowing the camera to capture an image that will look pleasing to the eye. This “pleasing” effect is what is deemed as correct exposure (or the right amount of light in the shadows and in the highlights of an image). In order to obtain the correct exposure you need to understand the Exposure Triangle (which I will touch on in a different post). In brief, the Exposure Triangle are the three settings that your camera uses to make create an properly exposed image. Once you understand the Exposure Triangle, your photos will reach a whole new level.

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What's important to understand is that better photos lead to more more exposure for your craft and your products. Remember, photography is so much more than just an image, it is about light, and how that light falls on your yarn, sweater, scarf, or hat. What I love about photography is that it lets me explore the depth of my craft in a whole new way. Crocheting is about textures and colors, and knowing how to present those things in the best light will lead to amazing images.

Tune in next time, as I break down the Exposure Triangle. In the mean time, remember that the thing photography and crocheting have in common is that they both require skill, patience, and practice.