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Lost in a sea of yarn and needles. Lusting after handmade socks and all things lacy


How To Take Pictures of Socks

I joined the Soctoberfest. See the mighty sidebar and was looking through the pictures on the Flickr site. It comes to me that most of us do not have someone to take nifty pics of our feet. I can sometimes wrangle my daughter into playing photographer, but not always.
Most pictures show the picture the way it was taken. The camera pointing down at the feet. The resulting perspective makes even the slimmest of legs go short and stocky. It not only doesn't flatter you, but it doesn't really show off your socks to advantage.
All you need is some simple graphics software to fix the problem.
This is a picture I took of a pair of socks I was working on. I propped my feet up on a chair, pointed my toes and snapped away. Sadly I forgot to move the yarn, patterns etc out of the picture. But you can see how I edited the picture.

In the Graphics software (I use Paint Shop Pro) I flipped the image to this

Better but still a lot of background clutter. I then checked the background color and filled in around the sock. I also cropped the picture a bit

This is much better, my leg and foot have lost the elephant look and the sock is the focal point. It would be except for the jeans. Which is the reason these pictures never saw the light of day :-)

But what happens if you are knitting a lace pattern. Lace off the leg tends to crumple up on itself and look awful.
This is the Embossed Leaves sock from Interweave Press Knits. It is a very popular pattern, and sadly most people photograph it off the leg, so it just piles up on itself.
For these photos I went from the camera to the scanner. You can get much closer and more detailed pictures with a scanner.
The first one shows a work in progress. I inserted a glass into the sock and threw a white towel over the scanner to cut out the ambient light. The scanner lid was up in the air, naturally.
The second picture shows the completed sock. I stuffed it with a white hand towel and propped up the scanner lid so it wouldn't squash the sock. The reason for all this trouble was to show the lovely toe pattern that finishes off the sock to perfection.

If you knitting a complex pattern in dark yarn, you will want the best light possible to photograph it. And it still maybe too dark. In a case like that, you are probably better off scanning a small portion of the sock to show the pattern. Even the most basic graphics programs will allow you to fiddle with the contrast. Sometimes bright sunlight will just show a dark blob. Which is not what we want our knitting to look like. Stretching it over something before taking the picture can help. Beware of over head lights. Most yarns have some sheen, and strong overhead lights can cause a glare bounce back effect.
If someone is modeling your socks, get them to point their toes. It gives the leg and foot a much more graceful look, and shows off your sock to best effect. Your model will thank you too ;)
If you are trying to show a heel effect, try having your model put their foot up on a chair or stool. This means you don't have to crawl around on the floor to take a picture.
Hope this helps someone to show off their socks to best advantage

By Suzann
On Wednesday, September 20, 2006
At 9/20/2006 08:30:00 AM
Comments :

for this post

Blogger junior_goddess Says:

You're a sock asthete! Very nice photos!

Blogger Ava Says:

Thanks so much for the enormously useful and timely tips!

Anonymous benne Says:

Great sock, Suzann! I love that lace and the exquisitely pointed toes in your photos. :-}

Blogger jayne Says:

I can see you are a detail person, Suzann. Loving attention to detail in your sock, and in your photographic method.


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