Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Knitwear Photography Pt.1: Equipment

This will be the first in a series of knitwear photography posts. I thought I'd do a few posts on equipment before moving on to composition, lighting, and post production. The goal is to have a photography-related post up every 1-2 weeks.
While there are many styles of taking knitwear photos, I will be focusing on my style: natural lighting which is primarily outdoors. Today I'll show you an overview of the equipment I use. (Disclaimer: I'm not getting paid for my views. Too bad, right?)

I use a Canon 60D with a f1.4 50mm lens. There are many things to consider when investing in a camera. But I would say it is much more important to invest in a good lens over a good body. I have a few lenses, but the 50mm is the most versatile lens I own. In a future post, I'll talk more specifically why I chose a f1.4 vs the f1.8 or f1.2. Additionally, I do have a B+W 58 UV-Haze filter over my lens to protect it.
As for the camera body, I did research for nearly 6 months before buying the 60D. My equipment typically takes a beating, so I liked how hefty this body was. But the deciding factor ended up being the flip screen. Having a flip screen on my camera was non negotiable for me. It allows me to take low pictures without putting my face in the dirt and high pictures without needing a ladder. There are many other bodies that will serve you just as well. But that will come down to budget and personal preference.
Bonus points to anyone who can figure out how I took this picture.

The other lenses I have are a 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens and a 16-35mm f2.8 wide angle. I originally got the 18-135mm with the camera and it helped me to get to know the camera better. But if there are budget constraints, I'd get a camera body separate from the lens and buy a 50mm. I bought the 16-35mm when I started having other photos I wanted to take, but I couldn't get them with the lenses I owned. Although I've used it for knitwear photography, it is by no means necessary. I have a B+W 82 polarized filter for the 16-35mm to help cut down on water glare. I plan on investing on a UV filter in the near future to help protect the glass.

Bonus photography equipment: Pictured is a tripod, reflector, and remote control. I rarely use the tripod. It is more important if you are shooting in low light and need to keep the camera still. I usually only use it along with the remote control when I need to model something for myself and I don't want to run back and forth with the self timer. The tripod is a Solidex Video VT-86HQ, which I found at my grandparent's house. The remote is a Hahnel Pro Wireless (Hahanel HW43380), which was a birthday gift from my Dad. The thing I should have bought much earlier than I did was the reflector. It is a Fotodiox 5-in-1, 42in/107cm. So many poor lighting situations can be improved with it. But I'll go into more detail later on.

So that is an overview of what I use. In the next post I plan to talk about how to choose a lens and what I look for when I'm buying one. I'll also go over some situations where one lens is more appropriate than another.
If all this equipment makes me look independently wealthy, rest assured that this is not true. Instead of investing in practical things, such as underpants, I buy photography equipment or yarn. If I could knit shoes to replace my hole-filled ones, I would.


Pumpkin said...

Wonderful equipment, I'm so lost when I delve into the world of fancy photography. Of course it doesn't help that every camera store I've gone into has been rather unfriendly towards beginners. I've been saving up for a Nikkor 50mm (which is pretty expensive for me). I chose Nikon over Canon hands down and for an admittedly weird reason. I've used multiple Nikon microscope cameras and was so impressed by the precision they offered. I definitely want to hear more about your reasons for picking the lens you did. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge on the subject too!

Anonymous said...

I shall have to make sure I revisit these posts when I finally get a nice DSLR-type camera. Thanks for all that detail!

I bet you took that photo in a mirror!?

Anonymous said...

Great idea for writing this series of posts! I'll be following with interest!

Anonymous said...

Miss Audry you need to get yourself over to my blog before you miss out on my Give Away. I am celebrating my one year blog anniversary & don't want you to miss out Girlie.

Eatlovemerry said...

So lovely!

Jennifer said...

Very informative post about equipment, thank you!

Unknown said...

Photography is the part of pattern self-publishing that I feel I know the least about, particularly the equipment, so I'm looking forward to this series! Thank you for sharing with us.

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