It DOES make a difference!!!

Wow! A week of experimenting and I believe , at last, we have liftoff! We have learned the following-

1- Lights make a HUGE difference- we have 250 W and 500 W blue photofloods and having photographed all the quilts using the smaller bulbs, we now have to redo a LOT of them! Just TOO dull and lifeless - stay tuned for photographic evidence!

2- We DO know now how to get a clean white ( or black) background for quilt photos. It works like a charm and DH should be VERY pleased with himself. I am :-)

3- Paper for printing makes an ENORMOUS difference ! I had my pics printed at Costco and they did them on matte paper- great , except that our pics were too dull and dark. I just found Satin Finish paper at Staples and bought a package of 100 sheets. GORGEOUS!! Now, I cannot afford to print all of my pics myself but for ones I want to be VERY clear and nice, I will always use satin paper now. Gloss is just TOO much. Matte is lovely if the colours are bright and right.

I have made up a sheet for each quilt , full of all the pertinent info- name, address , telephone number, title, materials used, techniques, date and notes for Artist's Statements. I also have ( or will have) a full shot of the quilt as well as several detail shots per quilt. Just bought a small binder and will have the sheets and pictures all organized alphabetically by title soon ( finished my teaching career as a Librarian !)

Now, for the evidence...

You remember this one! This is straight off the camera at the exposure indicated as correct by the camera.
Now , here are the three shots he took , first at normal reading, then at +1/3 and lastly, at +2/3 stops.
These shots have been edited for size and white background ONLY! No other editing.
The original exposure

At + 1/3 stop

And at +2/3 stop.
I have chosen the middle ground, the plus 1/3 stop. The + 2/3 is just washed out. 

We plan now to go back over the pile of quilts and redo the ones I feel are most important to me . It will take time but if it is worth doing at all, it is worth doing well! When I make my quilts, I choose my colours carefully and aim for "singing colours" - even the subtle ones! I want a glowing, jewel-like effect always and when I have a picture of my quilt, I want that singing colour too. The larger, brighter (500 W) bulbs have made a HUGE difference! We intend to buy a couple more pairs - just in case. Soon, we will be unable to buy them at all as they are incandescent tungsten bulbs.  They certainly DO generate a LOT of heat in this warm weather, but we must suffer for our art, no?

I see that this week is the 100th posting on TNTN and I will post this to the in hopes that someone may find all of this rambling yammer useful. One of these days, I WILL get back to some actual quilt making. This little project was a gotta do for this summer though and it is almost done now ! Yay!!


  1. Good going. I don't know much about photography but perhaps one day I may learn. The one course I took at Centennial has not stuck in this brain.

  2. That is wonderful! I have a really good camera and don't even know what 1/3stop means. Really I should check it out as I never get decent photos. Where did you find the bulbs. Just anywhere?
    The white background really makes the difference too!
    Good for you!

  3. Of course it is useful. I am far from a photographer but I will remember your painstaking trial and errors and come back when the time comes ;)...thanks! Such a vibrant quilt.

  4. There's always something new to learn and perfect and even in the age of digital and computer, photography still holds onto its secrets and we have to keep learning about them! You certainly are well on your way -- far ahead of me, thats for sure!

  5. It is so perfect and professional - and so good for you to have found out the best way.
    (I admit - like HollyM I have no idea about 1/3 or 2/3) - and thank you for writing all this ---- also about the paper