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Forum > Miscellaneous > Photographing Fabric ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Photographing Fabric
How to take a good picture of fabric
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Date: 11/4/07 6:12 PM

I can't figure out how to take a good picture of my fabric. The colors are never right. I've tried in natural sunlight, with flash, without flash, dark background, light background.

Does anybody have any suggestions on how to take pictures of fabric that show accurate colors? TIA

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AK
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Date: 11/4/07 6:34 PM

If you have a scanner, try scanning a piece of fabric to see if that works better.

Em's Summer
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Date: 11/4/07 9:53 PM

Sunlight usually works best if you want a clear pic of anything, but if the color's off when you take pics in natural sunlight, it might be your camera or the colors you're trying to photograph. If that's the case, you might want to look into getting a program like photoshop. With a little adjustment, you can get the colors to look pretty accurate. Or you can look into getting a camera that takes better pics.

Good luck!
Em
-- Edited on 11/4/07 9:54 PM --

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From what others have said, the nasty message came from Fitting Woes, NOT Misc Hot Topics or the Civility thread.

ryan's mom
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Date: 11/4/07 10:41 PM

My preference is bright sunlight or under the Ott-lite with no flash.

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Measurements: 34 HB/36 FB (34C bra)/27.5/36 (and working hard to keep it that way.)
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diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/4/07 10:43 PM

I used to photograph fabric for an online fabric store. It's really hard because each moniter shows the color differently. It can look perfect on your pc and totally different on your laptop or your office computer. You can manipulate the color, tone, and hue using software such as Adobe. For instance dark tones such as navy and forest green tend to look black and you can lighten them to show more of the true color.

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My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

Jackie M
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Date: 11/4/07 10:46 PM

This is not the way professional fabric sellers take photos, but I've been able to get good results this way:

Lay the fabric on a flat surface (I use my dining room table) in a room with plenty of natural sunlight, if possible.

Check your camera's white balance -- it should be under a menu option somewhere. This controls how your camera reads the light in the room. If you're using only the natural sunlight, choose the "outdoor" or the "sun" option; if you've got overhead incandescents, choose the that option (often a lightbulb icon); if you've got overhead flourescents, choose that option. This, in my opinion, makes the biggest difference in how a camera interprets color. Take photos of the same fabric with different white balance options and you'll see what I mean.

Set the camera for "macro" -- it's usually a flower-shaped icon. This lets you get within a foot of the fabric without the photo getting blurry, so you can get good detail shots of the weave, design, etc. This option is only good if you get within a foot or two of the fabric; if you're shooting from farther away, turn off the macro setting.

Take a photo with a flash, and one without. I usually take a couple of each, just in case.

I use Photoshop to crop and downsize my photo to a Web-friendly size (72 DPI and about 4x6 or 5x7 at the largest).

I don't do a lot of color adjustments, as everyone's monitor is different. I take photos of my fabrics next to my black and white measuring tape, so people can get an idea of the color compared to the extremes of black and white, as well as an idea of the scale of the fabric motif. If the color is way off, I start over and take a new photo.

Hope this helps!

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Jackie Mysak
Doula Web site: www.yourbirthpartner.com

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Date: 11/5/07 2:33 PM

These are such great suggestions. I thank you all. It looks like natural sunlight is going to be my best option. Maybe I didn't have enough sunlight streaming in previously. I'll try this again.

Jackie, thanks for the detailed instructions.

Em, I have a pretty good camera. I think what I need is a better photographer.

Thank you all again.

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"framed" was taken
"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant." - Horton(Dr. Seuss)

LauraTS
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LauraTS  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/5/07 3:23 PM

Well, I must be the exception - I get bad color changes if I photograph in direct sunlight. Indirect natural light, without a flash, turns out the best for me.

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