Friday, October 19, 2018

My Favorite Things: Surface Texture

Almost 30 years ago when I first started collecting quilts, there was something strange about the pictures of historic quilts in print media. Most of the pictures appeared to show little or no surface texture.

I love seeing the surface texture created by quilting, but capturing it in a photo is a challenge. The photos I saw in publications looked like they were lit straight-on with studio strobe, which tends to flatten out the surface a lot.

In my first book, "New York Beauty, Quilts from the Volckening Collection" (Quiltmania/France), I spent a lot of time on photography. It took an entire month to shoot photos of the 70 quilts that appear in the book; roughly two hours each day shooting, and several hours editing.

The narrow window of shooting time was around the "golden hour" when light poured in to the studio and bounced off the walls in all directions. The natural light was perfect for capturing surface texture.

Recently I wrote an article for Quilting Arts Magazine, with information about how I photograph quilts and edit the photos. The article was in the August/September issue of the magazine. The only photo I didn't take was my portrait, taken by my fiancé, Linda.

In the article, I talk about my studio, and how I prefer to use daylight to show the surface texture of the quilts. Usually I set up and wait for the perfect light before taking photos.

I also took all the photos of the antique quilts in the new book, "Inspired Free-Motion Quilting: 90 Antique Designs Reinterpreted for Today's Quilter" co-authored by Mandy Leins (2018, C&T/Stash Books).

Since the book is about quilting, it was important to show the quilting and the surface texture in the antique quilts. Surface texture-- it's one of my favorite things!

1 comment:

  1. Surface texture is one of my favorite things too! Your photography is always beautiful! Linda captured you well in your portrait!