Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Cabled Scarf and Photography 101 ~

I am so happy to finally have this scarf off the needles!!!  While it's been a labor of love, and the yarn sinfully seductive to knit, the cabling did take forever.  We're talking years here.  Not full time, obviously.  Think more short but regular forced marches.  Ah, but what a scarf it is and well worth the effort!

Since this is a very straight forward cabling pattern I thought instead of discussing the pattern I would talk about another hobby related to blogging namely, photography.  When I began blogging back in 2007 I had no particular interest in photography and I took pictures solely for the purpose of documenting my knitting.  But over the years taking pictures has slowly evolved into more than just a means to an end.  While it is certainly related and complimentary to knitting, I am finding it enjoyable to take pictures of everything from landscapes to Simcha (my dog and favorite subject!).

I also believe that the ability to communicate through pictures is increasingly becoming a necessary skill in today's world.  Above and beyond documenting knitting (important as that is) everything from your profile picture to the images you upload are your "voice" in an Age of Photomedium.  Don't worry if you've not heard that term before.  I just made it up.  But don't miss my point.  It is important for everyone to become fluent and comfortable in expressing themselves with and through images just to keep up with the times.

If you are like me, you have probably come to the realization that taking a nice picture whether of your knitting or otherwise is more difficult than you expect.  But there are some basic rules and helpful tips that can greatly improve your pictures.  Recently I have come across several professional photographers who share helpful tips for amateurs and I recommend visiting Jeff Sullivan Photography and Rick Sammon Photography.  Not only are they amazing photographers they also really seem to care about helping others improve their photography.  I've added these links to my sidebar and as I come across others I will be adding them to a growing list of helpful photography sites.

As a first step to improving your photography skills I recommend that you try an exercise that I do myself and I think is an excellent way to understand the importance of lighting to pictures.  Choose a subject and photograph it several times throughout the day and/or in different locations but do not download any of the pictures until the end of the day.  When you download your pictures all together you can more easily compare the images and see how the different lighting effected the picture.  Understanding the importance of lighting is the first step to improving your photography skills.

It also helps to consider the composition of your picture and whenever possible avoid taking a picture on a wrinkled surface such as I have done in the picture below.  Whoops!  Alas, life and photographs are rarely perfect.   And that's my final point - don't be too hard on yourself - it's all in fun.

Particulars:  Cabled Cowl designed by Olga Buraya-Kefelian (blogs as Olga Jazzzy); 3 skeins Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino; US 7 needles.  My only modification was to knit this with the goal of wearing it as a scarf rather than a cowl.  It was too bulky to be comfortably worn as a cowl for our temperate Southern California winters. Block dimensions 56" x 8." 

N.B.   There are two distinct styles of photographs on this blog.  Steve takes all the pictures of me wearing my knitting and any picture without me in it is taken by me.  I am also proud to point out that the floral painting in the top picture is an original art work of Steve's and it makes me smile to see it every day bringing color and beauty into our home.

Summer DIY Crafting ~

Painting a bird feeder is a fun and quick craft project and a perfect way to welcome Spring and migratory birds.  For this project I simply bought an unfinished bird feeder at a craft store (Michael's) and after sealing it with Gesso I decorated it with acrylic paints and filled it with wild bird feed.

And look!  There's already an interested bird!!!  You might recognize this feathered friend from my post Blue Bird in Wool Felt.  Despite a near death experience in the jaws of Simcha this little bird hopped out just as chirpy as ever.

Until next time, be well and love well and embrace all changes that time brings from the changing seasons to the ways we interact with each other.