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Photographing Textiles

I love to photograph my own textiles and here is the method I have devised afer years of trial and error. It’s another good excuse to deeply look at textiles.

I like low, natural lighting so I always photograph on a bright but cloudy day. This is more for Australian conditions as the light here is very bright and throws strong, deep shadows.

I just set up near a window, which sometimes has to have greaseproof paper taped to it to soften the light. I use another light source to counteract with the window light if necessary or use a large sheet of white cardboard. This lights up the shadows of the draped textile to varying degrees.

I use a good digital SLR camera with a tripod and remote shutter release. These accessories are important because my photos require a long exposure. Too long to hold the camera still.

I use a manual setting on the camera with the aperture set at F16. This is not negotiable, as I want the entire depth of field to be clear – no blurriness. I then set the shutter speed to achieve an appropriate exposure. This may be quite long.

To make sure the exposure is good I take a photo either side of the chosen setting (called bracketing). With digital photography I don’t have to wait for the photos to develop and can enjoy them immediately. How great is that!

A simple set up for photographing my textiles

The view from the camera

The remote shutter release

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hi,
    Photography is OK,your idea in video will perhaps it might look grand.

    November 12, 2007
  2. It is really nice to see how photography of weaving textiles should be done.

    November 13, 2007
  3. What a great post. Thanks so much for this (my photography is something I’m always trying to improve.)

    November 13, 2007
  4. Vicki #

    Thanks for the hints. Also, your work is just stunning. I don’t think I can call myself a weaver anymore. It is so exciting to see such beautiful weaving.

    November 21, 2007
  5. I love this bag. Thanks for the photo tips. I’ve been posting lots of photos from the Kumihimo Conference. Wish I’d had your hints before I went.

    December 2, 2007

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