My photography adventure began with a skein of yarn. Why? Because yarn is notoriously difficult to photograph. It has taken me almost a year of experimentation and learning (and still learning…) to understand why most yarn pictures can not convey their appeal. As a hand spinner, I’ve learned how to spin yarns that begs petting, or yarns that have drape, or the reverse, float in the air. None of that matter when they are captured in a photograph. In the two-dimensional world of photography, hand spun yarns are flat, lifeless, and filled with little dots. Even though hand spun yarns have color and texture, they have no shape and the eyes simply glossed over them like empty space.
So I poured over magazines like Vogue Knitting or Interweave Knits to see how the pros do it. Staging helps a lot too, like putting balls of yarn in champagne glasses or the arrangement of complementary colors to draw in the eyes. I also find that having lines and/or shapes to make the eyes trace the curve of the yarns also make the picture more interesting. Someday, someone will invent a touch screen that sends signal to the brain for texture, meanwhile, believe me when I say most knitters/spinners get high when we sense the yarns slip between our fingers
This picture is something I used to take. Not much thoughts went in this picture…and yes, it is that purple!
A better picture. The quarter is for scale.
Another better picture, with added color and shape. This is extra fine 18.8 micron Merino that I dyed and spun. So soft but the merino is easily felt and a struggle to spin.