Great photos…quilts & otherwise

Over the last few days, I have enjoyed showing you the photos I took of my quilts at the local Botanic Garden.

This last set was probably my favorite!!

There is a small sculpture garden called the “Garden of Imagination” and it features children enjoying the nature around them……

I decided this would be the perfect staging area with the “children”……

And the teacher deserved a quilt as well……

While in this area, I was approached by a woman from Chicago who was on a teacher’s retreat. She was also a quilter and we enjoyed a few minutes of discussion about our passions!!! As always…..quilters are the BEST!!!

Now, let’s change tracks and talk about the reason that these photos turned out so well!!

A few months ago, I purchased an online I-Phone Photography course from the “I-Phone Photo Academy.” I am leary of purchasing these sorts of courses, but I had seen a lot of very well-done, FREE, videos from this company and decided to give it a try.

I am SO glad that I did!!!

The first several lessons were about the photo functions that are specific to the I-Phone and I will need to watch those videos over and over again to get them all in my mind.

The rest of the videos have been about framing photos, about looking at the subject from different sides and angles, and about taking photos that are perfect as they are taken…..without cropping!!!

The photos that I have shown over the three days have only a minimal amount of cropping and I am happy with that new insight!!

I will share the first tip that was presented in the videos because it was KEY to taking all of these amazing quilt pictures!!

It’s all about how you hold the camera!!!

His suggestion is that, if you are right-handed, you hold the camera in your left hand, with your thumb and little finger on each side of the phone…..

He suggests carrying the phone in this position when you are looking for photo opportunities……

When you are ready to take a photo, lift the phone up and use your right thumb to press the shutter button…..

It sounds silly, but it is a much more comfortable angle and the camera is held super steady so you don’t get out-of-focus pictures.

But, back to the course……

Emil Pakarklis is an excellent host for this series. He films in beautiful Latvia and his quiet manner gives information that you need, in a way that is easy to learn.

I would HIGHLY recommend the course to anyone wanting better photos from their phone!!

Now I just need to get to my studio to make more quilts so that I can have more quilts to photograph…..

It’s a vicious…..but enjoyable.…..cycle!!!!

Quilts in the Garden – Part 2

How do you photograph your finished quilts???

Normally, I take a standard photo of the quilt hanging on my design wall……

I attempt to photograph it straight and then crop close to remove any excess wall.

Let’s be honest, this is about as boring as it gets!!!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I recently spent a lovely 3 hours photographing three quilts in an outdoor setting…..the Georgia State Botanical Garden!!

After leaving the “tunnel” area, I came on a kids fort with a rope wall…..the perfect place for a baby quilt to hang……

I tried valiantly to hang it without pins, but ended up having to press two into the rope to keep it from sliding as I photographed. I was SUPER careful to remove the pins and take them away with me!!

In this area there were even more mushrooms and they provided a great backdrop to some “low-down” photos of one of the folded quilts…..

I looked behind me and saw three climbing rings that worked perfectly for a “group” photo…..

The sun really shows the colors shining thru, almost making them appear luminescent!!

One last fence in a handicap parking area was my last backdrop in this area….

I absolutely love the trees in the bakground!!

At this point I was hot, sweaty and ready for a cool drink…..

…..but there was still one more setting to visit…..

Stop back by on Tuesday for photos from this area.

I will also share information about an online I-phone photography course that has greatly improved my photos.

I promise that it will be…….

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Picture Perfect Day

For the last year or so I have wanted to photograph ALL of the quilts that I own, including ones made by my Granny, my Mom, my friends, and by me!! I knew that this was going to be a HUGE undertaking and kept putting it off.

My sweet husband, Michael, pushed me to go ahead and get this task off of my list and said that he would be happy to help me with the project.

Yesterday was the day!!!

The first step was to get all of the quilts out of the closets, off the walls and down the stairs. Well that part was fairly easy….I stood at the top of the landing and dropped quilt bundles onto the floor below….

They were then stuffed into the car…..

We laughed that, if we were involved in an accident, we would be WELL padded!!

We arrived at our local art center (Lyndon House Arts Center) and while Michael unloaded the car, I set up the photography area. We were in the Fiber Room which is where our guild charity bee meets. I had to move some storage shelves and tables but was soon able to get the area ready for quilts. This large design wall was already in place, but I covered it with black felt to provide a better background for the photos…..

After the initial setup, the process was the same for each quilt……

Pin the quilt in place….

Straighten and fluff…..

Take the actual photos…..

Take a few detail shots….

I also measured many of the larger quilts and noted the sizes

AND REPEAT……135 times!!!! It got easier as the quilts got smaller and smaller and, at the end of the photo session, we were doing a quilt every minute or so.

Next came the re-folding process……

….re-packing the car and now they all need to be returned to the closets, beds and walls…..

I just wish there was a way that I could throw them UP the stairs!!!

If you are interested, I videoed the process for one quilt…….

Lessons Learned at a Photography Day

Yesterday was spent photographing the quilts that have been turned in for the Cotton Patch Quilters biennial show which is being held on March 6, 7 and 8. If you are in the Athens, Georgia area, stop by for a look. Click here for more information.

We photographed 90 quilts on Thursday night and finished up the last 150 yesterday….it was a FULL day. As you can see from the photo, it was a hive of activity, with the larger quilts being hung on a frame and the smaller ones being photographed on a design wall with either a black or beige background. In this photo, Francyne W is the photographer, Denise S. is holding the number for documentation and Anita H. is getting the board set up for photographing small quilts needing a lighter background.

I was very pleased with how my queen size quilt hung….by the way, I have named it “Mother – Daughter Flower Garden”. It didn’t ruffle at the bottom and laid extremely straight. I think that part of this is due to the care that I took in squaring the quilt (something I normally dont do), but I also think that part of the reason is that it hasn’t been folded up on a shelf… basically came out of the washer and dryer and was put into the storage bag.

As I watched the various quilts during the day, I have come up with a few ideas of how to get your quilts ready to enter into a show.

First of all, get them off of the shelves and laid out flat for at least a week before submitting them. If necessary, give them a light pressing to get rid of the creases formed by folding for long periods of time.

Secondly, when you turn the quilt in, roll it over something so that it doesn’t get re-wrinkled. The best ideas that I saw were to use a cylinder mailing box or a “noodle” (the things that you float on in the pool) that has been cut to the approximate size of the quilt. Be sure to tie it with a small strip of fabric to keep it from falling off of the tube.

Several quilts arrived rolled, but without the tube, and I know that as they were handled several times during the day, they ended up being folded instead of rolled. If you have the rolling tube, then each person handling the quilt knows exactly how to re-package your quilt.

Also, Francyne gave us the advice to roll your quilt with the front side facing OUTWARD. This helps the quilt to lean backwards and will help it to hang better.

I now cant wait for the next show so that I can try out some of my new found ideas!!!

Have a great day!!!