PhotoWerks 101: best blogging tips on taking better photos

I take terrible pictures. my favourite quilts don’t show well on my blog. And because I’m giving away my quilts, I want to learn how to take better pictures of them (some of them are now lost in the chaos of certain teenagers’ rooms, never to be seen again)… so I’m just documenting some sites I like so I can reference them the next time I need to shoot a quilt 😉

From WhimseyBox: a great how to using natural light and just a few tools to help. She discusses and shows subjects in different lighting, how to pick the best light source and why, and shows how to set the stage for a great picture. Lots of unedited pictures to show the before and after.

From Delia Creates: an introduction on how to maximize your camera functions to take great pictures… lots of talk about f/stops and aperture, but surprisingly I was not tooooo confused 😉 She also provides some additional reference sites.

From Make magazine: cheap tools that you can make or buy to help take better photos. Includes a link on how to make your own light box/stage for photographing items. Not sure I could replicate this to shoot a quilt, but smaller items would be fine.

I could not believe it, but there’s even a blog article specifically for shooting quilts. Every wanted to know how to photograph your quilts with that professional touch? Check out the tips and tricks from Holly Knott Finger Lakes Art – Shoot That Quilt!


The Hills Are Alive… With The Sound Of Cowbells ;-)

Earlier in the week, we visited Wolfgangsee (see = lake), and took a cable car up to the mountain top of Zwölferhorn. At lake level, it was about 25+ degrees, and at the mountain top, it was a bit colder, about 15 degrees. But comfortable and sunny enough for a short “hike” across the alms.

Very Heidi-esque, the air was crisp and clean, the trail quite dry and gentle enough for lazy quilty-types like myself 🙂 One of my group is an avid botanist, and kept us entertained and informed about the numerous flowers on the trail. When I first entered the alms, I saw rocks and grass and wildflowers. As we progressed on our walk, I became aware that there was so much more to it all. It was wonderful to have a lesson in mountain flora, and I really enjoyed it.

We came across a herd of cows, with bells that tinkled gently as they graze. It appears that farmers are granted ownership of these alpine pastures, but with the condition that visitors may hike or cycle through on the existing trails. In Austria, there are more than half a million cows on over 12,000 alms in the summertime. Quite a lot of mooooooo!

After the walk, we stopped off at a mountain hut (restaurant) for a simple lunch of frankfurters (one friend opted for the goulash, which was truly excellent home cooking!). Then back down the mountain again via cable car – a great afternoon!

going up in the cable car….

and higher….
finally, at the top looking down.
at the top, looking up at the hang gliders!
getting directions.
mountain flora
psychedelic creepy crawlies, both fast…
20130711-214345.jpgand slow…

Vienna Calling

I. Love. Vienna.

Ask me if I saw any old monuments or wonderful buildings. Nope. I went shopping on the MariaHilferStraße, a great shopping street that was close to the hotel. Up and down. For 6 hours. With ice cream pit stops (for energy). It was wonderful!

I found a great fabric store (komolka), and picked up a few fabrics. This (together with the traditional dirndl fabric I found in Reid last week) should satisfy my stash, I hope. My wallet is not so happy… purchasing fabric in euros is a bit difficult.

The basket below contains half metres of traditional dirndl fabric. The green edelweiss print is so quintessentially Austrian. I hope to include these fabrics in a future quilt.

Here’s an odd collection of prints for various projects I have in my head, including a Richard Scarry inspired quilt (cars and trucks and things that go!) for Marco, who is almost three and has a serious need for speed 😉
This is a great modern Italian print on heavy cotton. The shot below this photo provides more detail.

Finally, this is the craziest fabric I’ve ever purchased. €26 per metre, and worth every cent, it’s 150cm wide and sewable – feels a bit like a leather. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with it, but it’s just so cool.