Friday, March 26, 2010

Fixing the Lighting

Lately I have become more and more dissatisfied with the photos of my work.When I click to enlarge them on the screen I see blurry indistinct detail. I have been taking pictures of larger works and the dinkin' around necessary to get them to look proper on screen is tiresome and mostly ineffective. I believe bad lighting is the problem.
Today I bit the bullet and had Dave, who has much longer arms, install ceiling hooks for a shop light, equipped with color corrected bulbs. The second set of lights shine upwards which makes for a more balanced shot. It looks very shadowy in this picture, but nonetheless it is MUCH better for shooting pictures. I won't be using the light below on the table, except for photography.
I have had the most trouble getting the color right on Sorbet and now with the new light setup it looks much better on the screen.
And then, duh, I noticed I had my camera set a much lower resolution than I used to use. I don't know when or how that got changed, but I returned it to the higher resolution setting and now everything is how I like it.

And today the fabric Brooke and I ordered from arrived. They were having a sale that we couldn't pass up. 16 yards of batik for $40. I kid you not. (free shipping and a 15% off coupon). Half goes to Brooke and I will combine my half  with hand dyed fabric and feel like a Mrs. Gottrocks. La dee dah.
In the comments Donna wrote:
Melody: I love, love, love the quilts you have been cranking out & I so appreciate any tips you give. I am with Brenda & I don't quite understand the binding part, especially when you said, "I apply binding by cutting straight of grain strips at 2.25" and doubling the fabric...." Doubling what fabric??? Thanks again for an amazing blog.

The answer in pictures below.


  1. Ohhhhhh Melody, your work is like eye candy, absolutely lovely.

  2. That happened to me earlier this month. I thought my camera was broken or had dirt on the lens!!

  3. Hi Melody-
    Off topic, but I was wondering if you have received your Plantskydd® Repellent Rabbits & Small Critters stuff yet? I ordered some last Sunday and got an order confirmation, but no shipping notice. I was just wondering how long it took you to get your order, if you have. I have a yard full of voles and am tired of the pesky varmint killing machines!

  4. I agree! Much better detail -- and very much more satisfying from the ogler's perspective, I must say!

    And, uh Melody, as long as you are in the "making-tutorials-mode", I wonder if I might prevail upon you to create a tutorial on piecing those soft curves.

    I have attempted this technique several times for a quilt I want to make for my bedroom, and I keep getting myself turned around (is it front-to-back or back-to-back or...?) and wasting a lot of fabric. I always end up abandoning it. The I see the sweet flow you have created in Sorbet and I get re-inspired.

    Many thanks for even CONSIDERING this, LOL! Like you need more stuff to do!

    Your blog has been on my round of first-things-I-do when I first turn on my computer in the morning for the last year-and-a-half -- very fun and enlivening to see what you are creating in real time! Thank you for your great willingness to share your creative process/journey!!

  5. thanks for the pic showing your photograpy set up with the shop lights! This is a GREAT idea and one I plan to check out to use in my own studio. Thanks again!

  6. Good lighting or bad lighting, your work is beautiful.

    Upon reading this, I immediately went over to and ordered a bit of their batik at $3 a yard. There wasn't much left. But thanks for sharing!

  7. Great photo setup, Mel! You are a genius... as usual.
    Try out Google's new Aviary. It is a free photo editorial program. Lots of good tools. As usual... I tried it out on my students and "it rocks!"


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