Looking at the feature photo for this post you are likely thinking: “Wow Tierney, you have truly run out of things to talk about on your blog. You are now talking about backyard sheds?!?!?”
No, this is actually crafting/quilting related post. Quilt photography related as a matter of fact.
I would love your thoughts/ideas on the best way to make the rear of my new 8′ x 10′ backyard shed work for photographing textile art.
But first, let me share some background.
I am a recovering terrible photographer. My photography skills only approved over the past couple of years because they had to – if I ever wanted to have a sale on my tierneycreates Etsy shop I had to learn to take clear and alluring photos.
My Etsy shop is now closed but it was a great way to force me to become a better photographer.
In order to become a better…well okay, to become a less-terrible photographer, I had to learn some basic photography techniques. One of the first things I learned was the power of using natural light and the concept of “The Golden Hour”.
The Golden Hour and Soft Diffused Light
Here is a wonderful description of “The Golden Hour” from photographymad.com:
The golden hour, sometimes called the “magic hour”, is roughly the first hour of light after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset, although the exact duration varies between seasons. During these times the sun is low in the sky, producing a soft, diffused light which is much more flattering than the harsh midday sun that so many of us are used to shooting in.
This type of light produces less contrast, reducing the chances of losing parts of your subject in strong shadows or blown-out highlights. The warm glow adds a pleasing feel to the scene, and the long shadows help to pick out details, adding texture and depth to the image.
As an added benefit, there are generally fewer people around at dawn and dusk than there are at other times of the day, giving you a chance to capture your images in relative peace.
The Golden Hour was wonderful for photographing the handmade miniature kimonos I used to sell on my tierneycreates Etsy shop. I also discovered it was wonderful for photographing quilts. The mid-day sun occasionally works for some large quilts but for art quilts, they seem to photograph better in diffuse light.
APQS, long-arm quilt machine manufacturer, has an article on their website, apqs.com, on How to Photograph Your Quilt which states:
If you are taking your quilts photo outside, keep in mind that stark daylight isn’t a great idea as it creates strong shadows and it is just too harsh. Filtered light, like dappled light through a tree’s leaves or even the light found during a cloudy day is softer. This type of light will help you capture your quilt’s beauty more easily.
Whether it is “The Golden Hour” or mid-day with dappled light, my handmade items always appear to photograph better in natural light instead of indoor artificial light.
So when our backyard Costco resin/Rubbermaid Shed’s roof caved in from all the intense Central Oregon snowfall this past Winter and was recently replaced with a real wood built-on-site shed, I knew this was an opportunity to have a standard place outdoor place to photograph quilts.
Whether photographing quilts and quilted wallhanging for my former tierneycreates Etsy shop or photographing art quilts for show entires, I have discovered that I get better images if the quilt is hung/mounted vertically and I can photograph it from a standing position. Although I have relentlessly tried, I just cannot get a good quality photograph of a quilt when it is on the ground and I am standing over it.
I just have to figure out how to set up the back of the shed as a quilt photography area that allows me the flexibility to hang/mount quilts of different dimension for their photo shoot.
I would appreciate your ideas!
Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s latest Schnauzer Snips blog post – Schnauzer Quilt on a quilt I do not think I have shared before on my blog.
Oh, and in case you are curious, here is a photo of the front of the new backyard shed: