Monday, January 19, 2009

Green line piece

This is my piece for the High Fiber Diet show that we are doing in April. Each piece in this show will have a horizontal green line running through it. The name of the show is "Line Dance". The approximate size of this piece is 20" x 30". I used a bunch of the 2" squares that I was making a couple years ago from my bits and scraps and I think this is an idea I will continue to work with. I am really quite happy with the way they work together.

The group is putting together a CD of pieces for this show that we can send out to potential additional venues and galleries, so we are asking for good photos of each piece. I am a tightwad and never want to pay for professional photos. One of the members of our group has arranged with a photographer to shoot quilts for members who want his services. It will cost about $100 per quilt. Yikes.

There is always discussion on the Quiltart list about photographing quilts and some people are quite insistent that for entering shows and such one must have professional photos taken. I am in agreement that good photos are important, but I also think that there is a point of "good enough" that doesn't necessarily require a big monetary outlay. The way I see it, that is an expense that needs to be added to the sale price of a piece and I'm not sure that in most cases that makes financial sense. Professional photos are a must for print publication, but for work being viewed on a computer screen, I can't see the necessity.

I take my own photos. I usually shoot outdoors in natural light. A bright, overcast day works best in my opinion. I pin my quilt to a big board, covered with flannel that I set up outside, then use a tripod to get the clearest shot. I'm happy with what I got. The color is true. The quilting shows up nicely. I cleaned up the background in Photoshop. But all this talk about the necessity of professional photos makes me insecure. I'm interested in hearing other opinions.

By the way, this piece needs a name. Any suggestions?


  1. Anonymous4:22 PM

    good photographs,absolutly! professional, not needed. Like you I think good enough works fine. The photos should be clear and sharp with colors true to the work. If you can do that on your own then it is Good enough.
    As for the name suggestions...mine would be,
    beyond the fence.

  2. Very nice, love all the stitched texture. Name idea: Line Green

  3. looks like a professional photo to me... how about - bits and pieces in a line?

  4. Anonymous4:43 PM

    I'm with you Terry. For practical and financial reasons, obtaining professional photographs is just not an option for me. However, I have invested time and money in purchasing equipment (eg tripod) and learning how to take better quilt photos. I still have more to learn about Photoshop and cropping out the background of quilt photos effectively but I am mostly happy with the images I create for my artwork especially for general online use.

    I like the fields of solid colour in this quilt and the texture created by the stitching. I've drawn a blank on name ideas.

  5. Well, you know how I feel about spending that much for photography. I just call my daughter!

  6. As a professional quilt photographer - I must say, you are using the correct light - outdoors without sun is the best. You get the overhead emphasis which brings out the stitching to its best advantage. Studio lighting can replicate that - but if you can get it outdoors then it is the best. The money for professional photographs is not only for the actual picture taking, it is usually for the lighting.

    I agree with you about professional vs. non professional controversy - for print it is almost a must - for CD and computer non professional is good.

    And yours looks professional - if it was wiggly or smudgy or not straight in the shot I can see wanting it different, but yours is spectacular - so don't feel insecure (I know, easy to say - hard to do).

  7. It is a really great quilt. Love it.
    I would be very satisfied with your photography skills.

  8. Anonymous2:07 AM

    What a beautiful piece. I keep coming back just to look.

    sus in spokane

  9. Its all been said before but I will say it again - love the quilt: its so textural! And I can't see how the photo can be improved upon - thanks for the tips

  10. It sure looks like professional photography to me. It is very straight on and all the wonderful quilting shows up.

  11. Looks professionally done to me - I love how the quilting shows up. Beautiful quilt.

  12. Terry- Stunning work. As has been said I keep pulling up the pic to see something new and exciting. The first title that came to my mind? Divided To Conquer. Maybe that's just the morning machismo speaking.
    I stand with the others who have said good enough is, well... good enough. I, too am a published photog (only I do food) but I'd say your picture has all the goods for sufficient viewing. I can't comment on the publishable quality without seeing the file, dpi and more pictures but that really isn't the issue here. Excelent job.
    BTW: Thank you very much for the ONE wristband! I got it a few days ago. My partner was slightly jealous but it got him to go to the website (which is saying something). Talk to you soon!!!!

  13. I lust after this quilt! But then I lust after most of the pieces you make. The quilting is just perfect for the piece.
    [Weird word is "spessis" - sounds like a disease.]

  14. A beautiful piece of abstract art! I love the small picturesque squares. Title idea: Majorities. The big red space, although at the bottom, conquers the grey.
    I think your photos are fine, just had a look on your portfolio. During the past years, the resolution of the cameras has improved a lot. I use a bridge camera which gives very satisfying results, and I sharpen and enhance the pictures in my program. Of course, printing requires a higher resolution than the internet.
    Photographers charge 100$ per pic? I'm gonna apply for a green card.

  15. I love this piece -- it made me think Art Deco when I first saw it.

  16. If I had to pay for professional photography, I wouldn't be able to enter shows. Plus, my photography (and yes, I've invested in a tripod, a *really* good camera, lights and stands per Holly Knott's website instructions) has been good enough for Quilting Arts to use my photos in my articles. As far as I'm concerned, their photography is among the best out there, and if my stuff is good enough for the how-to shots, them I'm doing ok!

    The quilting, by the way, is absolutely perfect for the quilt!

    Cheers, Sarah

  17. I've been fortunate to have friends who have been of professional photographer quality in my early days of entering shows. One had been a professional dance photographer for 10 years but had not photograpned textiles. I bartered with them for their services at the time, or they offered to do it as a challnge for their skills. I learned what I had to do to get my photos to look "good enough" to show my work off to it's best advantage since it is difficult living out of major centres to find a professional who can properly photograph textiles!

    As Sarah says, if I had to pay for the photos I need, I wouldn't be entering the shows! Digital cameras and photoshop have made life a lot easier to get the photos we need.

  18. Anonymous8:13 PM

    Just had to say that you, of course, made fine choices in your stitching. I was wondering how you'd finish this. Good Going!

  19. Love the quilting. Looking at it, the words/title suggestion "In support of the motion" came to mind - literally the red areas are like pillars holding up the busily moving parts - and the idea was bolstered perhaps by seeing the little squares as national flags and thinking about decisions made in the UN ... a bit fanciful, but your quilt really got to my brain!

  20. Hi Terry,

    Love your piece.

    I agree with you that if "good enough" is good, then it is also enough. I do my own photography and have done a lot for others as well and as a group we have done well getting things in shows.


    Elaine Millar

    PS I vote for Line Green.

  21. Your pictures always look great to me.

  22. Anonymous2:06 PM

    how about calling it Obama Nation?

  23. Love love LOVE this! How about "a thin green line"?