Ready to show off your crochet projects and give them the respect they deserve? This is part 2 of a series of photography lessons specifically designed for crochet projects. If you missed part 1, you can find it HERE
The method that I am about to teach you isn’t the only way to achieve great results but as a crochet and product photographer, this has worked wonders for my photography. Crochet photography is also slightly different from regular photography in that you want to capture a beautiful composition, yet also showcase the individual stitches. This series of photography lessons will help you to do just that.
There is something called the Exposure triangle which we will be covering over the next 3 posts. Aperture is one corner of the triangle and once we have covered all three corners, you’ll be able to see how all three aspects of exposure work together.
Aperature is the first corner of the triangle.
Aperture means depth of field. In simpler terms, the aperture you choose determines how much of your photo is in focus. On camera, aperture is measured by f-stops. You will see a f/2.8, f/8, f/16, etc. to let you know at what aperture your camera is set. A low f-stop such as f/1.8 or 2.8 will result in a very shallow depth of field; only a small portion of the photo will be in focus. In the photo below, I set my aperture to f/2.8 and had my focal point as the front blue flip flop. The low f-stop created a small depth of field and only that flip flop is completely in focus. The others are gradually blurred. This is a great way to direct the eye to the most important part of your photo.
In complete contrast, if you were taking a family photo of five or more people, you wouldn’t want only one person to be in focus. You would need to use a much higher f-stop so that the entire family is in focus.
I have an aperture experiment for you to visualize the concept better. I took my daughter outside to help me demonstrate. For this experiment, I switched my camera to Aperture Priority mode. I have a Nikon and it is “A.” Some Canons use “Av” or you may refer to your camera manual for specific instructions. When achieving a correct exposure in Manual mode, you control the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO but it takes a bit of practice to get all three correct. Aperture priority lets you control the aperture and the camera takes care of the other two. This is a great place to start.
You can see the f-stop listed below each photo. You won’t want to look at her and her funny faces, but, you will want to look at the change in the trees behind her. At f/1.8, they are very blurry and by the time we get to f/13, they are fairly clear (for something 150 yards away). An f-stop of 1.8, 2.8, or 4 will have a large amount of background blur. As those numbers rise, the background will become more and more focused. You can also play around with these effects by adjusting your distance from the subject or the angle of the photo.
So what does this mean for a crochet project? I took several photos of the Baby Penguin Mini Ragdoll by A la Sascha available on Ravelry (click for link) that you’ll see throughout these photography posts.This project allows me to show you several aspects of exposure because of the shape. And he is an adorable little penguin!
With this photo, I used a low f-stop, f/1.8, and focused directly on his eyes. His face is clearly in focus, but the feet are quite blurry. As you use aperture throughout your crochet photos, you can create a focal point and direct your viewers’ eyes.
One more example, because understanding aperture is so important. You can see how the background blurs in the crochet hook photo to the left. The central focal point is sharply in focus but when you move away from the hook, the background gently blurs.