Detail of a re:loom Rug with Tassels.
For my first post of 2012, I thought I’d take a minute to reflect upon my growth as a photographer. I have learned an incredible amount of knowledge over the past year that has helped shape me into a better photographer (I think). Last February, I began this blog (… or maybe March… sometime around then 🙂 ) and the photographs I posted were shot with a point and shoot camera that cost $50. I had to use what I had to make great pictures… it was a time full of experimentations and frustrations. There are limits to the good olde point and shoots. I graduated college and received a Canon Rebel T3i as a graduation gift. I went nuts after that; taking photographs any chance I could get and of any subject. My passion for photography was ignited and I spent many restless nights, shortly thereafter, dreaming up compositions and concepts. Twas a fun, dreamy time. 🙂 In September, I was approached by a former Agnes Scott grad (we had an art history course together and had to lead a discussion on an art theory-type article together) about doing some photography work for re:loom. I don’t want to rewrite what I’ve already written previously in this blog. You can peek through the archives if you wish to read more about my start at re:loom. I’d rather take a moment to reflect upon how much I’ve learned via my work experience at re:loom thus far.
When I began, I only knew how to work my camera in auto. Now, I can work easily in manual. It’s amazing how complicated photography is. Once I feel as if I’m at a point where I’ve grown and know everything, I soon find out I know so little. I’ve been challenged in this experience. Prior to re:loom, my experience consisted of taking photographs of animals, nature, people and disc golf. I had never done any type of product photography. I thought it sounded simple. I was wrong.
Camera angle has to be dead on. Lenses are important… a wide-angle lens distorts the rugs. Bring your laptop and chords with you, so you can make sure the photographs look ok on the big screen. Make sure your lens is clean and has no smudges before photographing rugs. Check the f-stop and zoom in after to make sure the details are clearly visible. Make sure to custom balance the white by using a white card. Lights make life a whole lot easier. Cutting out rugs and pasting them onto a white background is tedious an extra step. HDR is an unnecessary extra step. Hanging rugs on the wall, by pinning them, works better than standing on a ladder over the rugs… the angle makes it too difficult to achieve the right shot.
I learned the hard way, but I learned through hard work and experience. And that is what re:loom has given me. For this experience, I am forever grateful. I start tomorrow with a fresh start at rug photography. New lights, new rugs, new detail shots. I cannot wait for re:loom’s inventory to build on their website. All of the proceeds go to the non-profit, Initiative for Affordable Housing, that pays the salaries of the weavers, creates jobs and provides affordable housing for homeless and low-income individuals. Initiative and re:loom run via donations. All of the rugs are handwoven on looms. The fabrics are cut strips of whatever clothing items that were donated to the organization. Even socks. Please take a minute and check the website out and read all about the re:loom story. I’m so proud to be a part of this wonderful project.
To 2012, and the many great things to come in this new year…
for RE:LOOM Website Click Here
Making Cards at Initiative’s Christmas Party.
A Little Girl Makes a Present for Her Mom.
Detail Shot of Two re:loom Rugs.
A re:loom Rug Unveiling Another re:loom Rug Beneath It.
Two Hands of Two Good People, Doing Good Things in the World, Holding Up a re:loom Rug.
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Peace, love until my next bloggy-blog post, dear fellow blog readin’ friends. 🙂