Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lessons from She Shoots Sheep Shots

Recently, I was scouring through my Ravelry groups, looking for updates and new projects people have shared. While looking through a knitting and photography group called Project Photography, I stumbled upon a Photography for Knitters Workshop that "surprise" was in Carver, MA! (only about 1.5 hours away). The workshop description said it was "about having more control over your photos, and wanting them to look great online." SWEET!!!

So, I emailed my photo/knit buddy Tara and in the next few days we were excited, signed up and ready to shoot! The workshop was put on by Gale Zucker, aka SheShootsSheep on Ravelry. Gale is a professional photographer and accomplished knitter who rarely gets to combine those two portions of her life. She started off our workshop by showing us some of her fiber and knitting related photography in her book, Shear Spirit (more info below), and some of the techniques we should use to make our fiber projects really show their texture and come to life.

Next we talked about lighting your projects and how to BEND LIGHT TO YOUR WILL!!! Erm.... pardon, I mean.... use lighting to your advantage by reflecting light onto the subject or using a light box. For the third part of the workshop, we took our projects outside and practiced using the techniques Gale demonstrated earlier. I purposely brought to the workshop a very cool silver cowl that I had recently finished for a friend. I had a distinct feeling that this cowl would be a nightmare to photograph since it has three distinct fiber textures throughout. I am very proud of how the cowl came out, so I really wanted to capture it well. Luckily, my friend was a willing victim to my plan to shoot it on someone (thanks Tara :P).

Tara took a great pic of my Jayne Cob hat (on my own head).

Gale demonstrating that you need to get into some pretty interesting poses to get just the right shot....

For the last part of the class we went back inside, ate cookies (we need our energy you know) and focused on how to optimize the photos we took for uploading to blogs, etc. I came out of the workshop with lots of new ideas and the rejuvenation of my desire to use my camera. So, needless to say I had a great time at Gale's workshop and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in sprucing up their fiber photos for their blog or just documenting projects on ravelry.

If you want to see Gale's work check out the following:

Gale Zucker Photography - Gale's day job and professional portfolio.

She Shoots Sheep Shots
- Gale's blog: combining her love of fiber, knitting, and photography (yes, and sheep too).

Edit: Gale posted some pics she took at the workshop, links to some of the other attendees' blogs, and a nice writeup of the day on her blog. You can check out the hijinks at her post Sighted in Carver.

Shear Spirit: Ten Fiber Farms, 20 Patterns & Miles of Yarn - a link to Amazon for a book Gale collaborated on with Joan Tapper. This is filled with gorgeous shots Gale took of fiber animals, yarn, and farm life.... it's just beautiful! I highly recommend it and it makes a great coffee table book in addition to the lovely patterns. Gale was very thoughtful and personalized my copy.... complete with a WoW reference!


gale (she shoots sheep shots) said...

Thanks Johanna, it was wonderful having you in the workshop. Love the wimple shot, btw, you rocked it!

erinlesko said...

I have that basket! Mine also holds yarn & projects. Also, love the gray cowl thingie. I want one!

Bahston Beans said...

Great pics Jo. The silver cowl looks beautiful.

jjFTW said...

Thanks guys :)

I am convinced that the silver cowl/wimple is going to start a craze.... DarthCoco and several others have comments that is looks really good. Plus, it only took me a few days to make and was great knitting for while you are watching tv or chatting at a get together.

Mary Lou said...

Nice pictures. I did the class in Minnesota and had a ton of fun.

Carole Knits said...

It was great to meet you on Sunday and I'm glad you thought the workshop was worth the trip!