Photo Shoot

We have started the photographing of all of my "serious" quilts, ones I would show or enter into shows. Having recently purchased a used Background Stand assembly, DH and I have been dying to try it all out. In our daughter's old room, we have set up a board for the quilts to hang on and the floodlights with daylight bulbs on the New/used Background stand.

Here we are all set up.This is only the two big, heavy duty tripods with the lights. There is also a huge crossbar that goes on it so a backdrop can be hung over it!
I have been harping away about white balance and am STILL having problems. As you can see , we are using old fashioned Daylight photoflood lamps and we both set our respective white balance using the standard grey card. So far, so good! However, when it came time for DH to see what he had gotten with his first shot, here is what happened...
See how grey this looks! 

As you can see , the white background---is GREY! Now, organizations like SAQA ask for quilts to be photographed on a WHITE or BLACK background. So... back to the drawing board . We tried incandescent lights and DH still got distinct grey whereas I got cleaner looking , paler grey in the background. I feel this has to do with digital camera technology . Trying to use old incandescent lights- either regular or photofloods , is just NOT cutting it! I think we need to go to the new quartz lamps designed for use with digital cameras. DH is not yet convinced.

To show you how critical White Balance is, here is a shot of the room with the lamps turned on and WB set with a grey card. The next shot is taken with my camera set to Auto white balance . Zowie! What a difference, eh??

With the photofloods and WB set with grey card
How do you like THESE apples???
It DOES make a difference- a HUGE difference. The great challenge will be to get the Westport Sunset quilt photographed properly. I have taken SOOO many shots of it in an attempt to get a good rendition of the colours of that quilt, all , so far, totally unsuccessful.

This is a reasonable version of the colour but not exact. 
Well, to finish off, my Dear Patient Husband has experimented all the time I have been writing this post ( and I type s l o w l y ) and has discovered that by putting some nice white printer paper behind the corner of the Red Iris quilt, he gets a pretty white background. So, if you are folks who don't get out much ( like us) and get excited about stuff like this, stay tuned because later this afternoon, I will hie me to the fabric shoppe and get a nice big chunk of white sheeting. It may be whiter and will definitely be thicker than what is on the board now and maybe that will help. Other than that, I will buy a pair of quartz photoflood lights. I thank you for your attention and for your patience. Good luck to ALL of us in photographing our lovely work!

When the time comes, I plan to post this on the My bet is it will win a prize for the most boring post EVER :-) Be patient with me, please !


  1. No, not boring. I'm no techie but I do admire all your perseverance. Your quilts are quality pieces and after all your work they deserve the detail needed for good photos. Good luck! Heck, I might even learn something. ;) ;)

  2. Well, by gum. I could swear that somewhere along the way I read that a grey background was preferable (softer)...

    But I leave the complicated photography to my DD who is equipped! I will send her the link to this blog post for feedback! Thanks!

  3. I always try to take photos outside as you get true colours... I know how hard it is inside to get *exact* colours... good luck! Your quilts look amazing!!

  4. Not boring at all! I think this is an important subject and I love to see how regular quilters get accurate photos of their quilts. Glad you and DH can do this together! Love your quilts. Your header quilt looks like where I live near Manitoulin Island and the LaCloche Mountains.

  5. It is so hard to get it perfect. I will tweak it a bit on the computer if it needs to be warmer or cooler.

    Good subject. There's NOTHING worse than crappy photos of great art.

    : )
    Monika K.
    thanks for linking up!

  6. Photographing fibre art is an art in itself.