Friday, August 13, 2010

On importance of play

I have to admit - taking pics gave me huge pleasure today and what an unusual occurence that is!
All because of a friend of mine, Vanda, who was my guest today and who shared with me a day's work at the camera.
I didn't want to kill her with boredom so I decided to steer away from my usual photographic routine. I brought out all sorts of different items to use as background and we let go of the reins. No limits, no rules, let's get wild and enjoy ourselves.
To my huge surprise, I did enjoy it immensely.
Vanda has a great eye for finding ordinary items that can turn satirical with good arrangement. I've snapped a few unbelievable pics today following her instruction - I'll publish some here so that you could appreciate them too. Note: even if I did not treat the day's work seriously, I've ended up with tangible, quality material.
But the greatest gift was personal - I was reminded how important bringing play into work is. Without fun, even the most beloved activity can turn into tiring chore. Today's happening showed me that it doesn't have to be so - and for the first time in a long, long time I enjoyed photography!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Background question

Before taking any pictures, I spend a lot of time choosing a background. I've learned that this is a very important part of taking good pics.

(Now, seriously, why the hell taking decent pics is soooo complicated and you have to think of soooooo many factors and I'm not a bloody photographer and I want to stitch not to take bloody pictures!!! - excuse me here, that was my inner child talking)

So the very first thing I've learned by trial and error - BIG error, sometimes - is that if you do not know that much about photography, stick with white. Maybe one beautiful day I will learn how to use other colours as well, but experiments so far proved to have disastrous effects.

Like pics of my Sea Inspirations necklaces (you can take a quick look here to see what I mean). I've put them on the background made of little coral pieces, all natural, but kind of beigey-greyish colour. My noble idea was to create my very own beach (in a baking tray, heh heh). I still like the idea, but the pictures... Not impressive, to say the least. They do NOT catch the eye, and, unfortunately, on Etsy this is their function. Conclusion: 'coral beach' pictures that you can view now in my shop are the first and the last of the kind that you will see.

I'm sticking to white, then. But - there are whites and whites. I find the 'piece of paper' kind of white extremely boring (unless it's a really good quality, textured paper but that's another story..). I really liked the idea used by loads of Etsy sellers, which is to take the pics on an open book. For some reason it looks great - might be the bookworm inside me sympathising :) I do not enjoy copying somebody else's ideas, though, so as much as I admire this setting, I decided againt it.

I thought - what I'm looking for? White + texture. For the first batch of pictures I've found it in (mystery revealed...) an old shirt that I don't really wear that much. Or did I already write about it somewhere here? It's an old story anyway, and I wanted to publish some news, so here's another way in which I managed to get a background both white and textured.

Stitching canvas!! That was like a revelation. It definitely has texture - one that I very much like, too, very neat and elegant. Plus, it feels right, to present needlecraft goods on stitching canvas. It's like displaying tools of my craft.

There is a backside, though. When seen up close, the texture is magnificent, but give it some distance and it turns into ordinary boring white. I didn't find a way to get around that (yet!), but since I've spent an hour or so ironing the damn thing I'm dead set on using it in my pictures for quite a while now.

That is, until another idea arrives :)