Thursday, February 5, 2015

"I See Your True Colors Shining Through": Lighting Problems


This is the one most difficult thing I deal with when trying to show what I'm doing. The top photo was done in late afternoon with the light coming from the north. It was not retouched or edited besides cropping. The color is brilliant!

Below...well, it's just awful! That shot was taken in my work room. I have can lighting in my ceiling, and everything looks washed out and drab--or yellow.

Daylight shows true color.

I certainly don't have a magic fix, but if you have no windows, an Ott light or similar unit is excellent help in your workspace if you must do color sensitive work. The other option is what I do--run it to a window to see if it works. I'm very grateful for my sprawling work space, but I have my eye on taking over another room in the house for better light. Shhhh!

I've been busy doing a mix of things this week with no real theme running through them except 'I was inspired.' Above is a morning's work playing with HST (half square triangles). I had ordered one charm pack, and somehow gotten 5. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them all, or if I really liked them until I put this together. You can achieve a stellar effect by pairing a dark charm with a lighter charm, and sewing into HST. There are a multitude of patterns to lay them out in. This will definitely turn into a favorite quilt over the next few months.

Another self-appointed task was digging into drawing up my own templates. Long before we were able to buy a pattern, they were made at home. There's a good bit of software available for transforming your designs into a real life product. You can even choose the fabric you'd like, and see it as the quilt would look. I'm old school. I might use AutoCad if pushed, but graph paper works for me.


I might sound like Captain Obvious here, but use the same size graph paper as what your finished block will be. If you want a bigger block than 8.5" x 11", tape paper together and print each side,then join back together. Enlarging on a printer is a much harder process.

Here's my work up of yesterday's pattern.

I think I'm partial to the displace corner more than the standard arrangement. Wouldn't it look cute to keep the same background, and start the next star in a new fabric?

I snapped proof that I put the Jelly Beans and Chocolate,
and the Snapshots quilt tops completely together.
Upstairs lighting with no touch up.

Jelly Beans and Chocolate was featured today on My Quilt Infatuation's Needle and Thread Thursday.
Thank you for the honor, Kelly.

Let the sun shine on all of us today,
and show Our True Colors.

Come on, Doxie Girls, and your 3 friends, too!
Let's go sew.


Ruth said...

Where I sew (at the kitchen table!) I'm blessed with a lovely big window. Only thing is this part of the house is often in shade and daylight gives me a blue colour cast on my images! I correct almost every photo. At night in tungsten light I really struggle telling white and snow or off white apart. Made some polaroid blocks thinking they were all white and looked at them in the daylight and some pieces weren't! A daylight balanced light is on my wishlist! Love the vibrancy of the colours you've used - they really pop! Would love to see your displaced star with multiple blocks.

Maryse said...

I have can light as well in my sewing room and I just changed the existing spot lights for OttLight fluorescent light bulbs and even if the lighting isn't perfect, It improved tremendously.
I really like the fabric you used on the HST, the first photo. It doesn't look familiar to me and wonder what collection it is? Congratulation on being featured! It's a beauty!

Marly said...

Congratulations on being featured today on Needle an Thread Thursday. The jelly beans and chocolate is a beautiful quilt; I love how scrappy pieces come together and look good. The fabric in your HSTs is perfect, but what a difference the lighting quality makes to photos. I took flash photos yesterday evening; too late for the sun. They're not what I'd like either.
I'm now following you by email.

Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl said...

Lighting can definitely be a factor in taking photos and evaluating our work. I do try to work with contrast and light levels on a photo when I just can't get good lighting for a stretch of time. Congratulations on being featured on Needle and Thread Thursday - how fun! :)

Heather Graves said...

I sew in the basement with a couple of small windows - everything has a yellow tinge to it. Tricky when trying to pick out just the perfect color fabric or thread... and impossible for photographs!

Jayne said... enemy! It is so hard to get perfect photos...very tricky! I've tried many different lighting options, but outside seems to be the best. Of course, you have to do it at just that magical moment! One minute late and you lose!! I love your True Colors...gorgeous!

Kaja said...

Seeing those two photos together really brings home what a difference lighting makes. I resort to outside a lot, but that is harder in the winter! I love the colours in the fabrics you are using.

Sheri said...

I love your HST's photos and explanations with the different lighting. My daughter calls sunset the golden hour because the natural light has that golden hue that is lovely in pictures. I hope you get to grab that other room with the better lighting! Also I like your idea about the displaced star corner and starting a new fabric with the same background!

Emily said...

this is such a great visual for how important natural light is. there is only so much fixing you can do without a proper (yet expensive) photo editing program, and this helps prove that point. the more you can do in camera, the better!

Katharine Yates said...

I like the HST quilt you're working on--the colors are great! Lighting makes such a big difference! I love how much better my quilts look once I take them outside, it's amazing how much better the colors are in natural light.

Kim said...

Cameras, photos and can be a bit of a conundrum. I love the fabrics in your HST quilt. They are a symphony of gorgeous colour and pattern. Your Jellybeans and Chocolate is a delight as well....the colour and pattern placement is very clever...and inspired!! This post is filled with scrumptiousness!!