Just Jayne ‘n’ Me

I don’t really have a lot to say tonight, but my camera’s been put away since Saturday and I had the urge to dig it out. With no people, or animals, nearby for shooting at this hour, it’s just the yarn and me. So here is a progress photo of the Jayne Hat:

 closeup of yellow and orange knitted hat in progress.

Jayne hat in progress

Exciting, huh? I knew you’d think so. :)

Truthfully I am not a huge fan of orange, or yellow. If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you know what my favorite color is. But I’m liking the way the yarns are combining to create a richness of bright color that doesn’t feel too “crayon-y.” Am I making sense?

Only about 10 rounds to go, then on to the earflaps. I know most knitters could probably finish up in an evening, but I’m shooting for the weekend. Wish me luck.

I’ve Seen the Light!

I’m going to geek out a little in this post.

If you know me, you know I love my camera almost as much as I love knitting and yarn. I’m always striving to take better pictures. I am not a photographer, nor will I ever be, though very rarely my photos do get used in the context of my day job. I like it when opportunities to be creative present themselves.

There is a problem, though, in that I have always hated working with flash. When possible I prefer natural light, or nice, bright indoor light. However, in today’s energy-conscious world, fluorescent lighting is the norm, which, if you take pictures, you know, is the definition of UG-ly.

I never use my camera’s built-in flash. About three years ago my husband very generously gave me a Speedlite for my birthday, which was a huge improvement. But, I still hated the harsh shadows often produced. So right away I started looking for ways to get the benefits of using flash while at the same time, softening the effect. I can’t remember how it was that I stumbled upon the Gary Fong Lightsphere, but it made a huge difference for me.

The only problem was, the thing was bulky, a little hard to get on and off quickly, and its rigid form took up too much space in my camera bag.

Then I discovered the Lightsphere Collapsible. It folds down into a nice, flat shape and doesn’t demand too much of my gear bag. It’s a lot easier to take on and off, and it produces such a wonderful light that is not too harsh and produces wonderful color, something that my energy-saving, but ugly-as-sin light fixtures can no longer do. Want proof?

Photo of orange yarn taken without flash

Photo of orange yarn taken without flash

The above photo was taken in my dining room, which is fairly brightly lit with a nice, off-white ceiling. The colors in this image are soft, but a little muddy, and kind of all run together. Not bad, and certainly better than i would have gotten with plain flash. But then, look:

Photo of orange yarn taken with flash

Photo of orange yarn taken with flash

This photo was taken with the Collapsible Lightsphere in place. Yes I can see a slight shadow, but it’s not harsh at all. And best of all, guess what? The photo is showing you the actual colors of my yarn. Not too bad, eh? I think after all my years of using flash only begrudgingly, I am finally starting to make peace with it. I’ve even gone so far as to realize that natural light isn’t always best, and there are situations where having nice, soft light from the flash will really improve the photo.

I love it when my love for yarn and my love of photography converge. Look for lots more bright, happy project photos from me.

That’s my husband’s Jayne Hat in progress. It’ll be done in time for this spring’s round of nerd conventions.

Springtime at My House

Everything’s blooming at my house. Achoo! That means I’m sneezing a lot, but some things are worth it. We’ve been in this house 18 years, and we’re not exactly avid gardeners here, but luckily, the previous owners left their mark on us! I just had to snap a few photos today before blooming time is over:

After the blooming season we’ll hack down the pink azaleas so they can re-grow and we can shape them. For now, they just give our home that fabulous, Addams family touch!

For now, I’ll go back to sneezing, and enjoying the beauty… while it lasts.

Bring on the Band…

Teen Daughter, tooting flute

Teen Daughter, tooting flute

Just had to say, my camera KICKS BUTT.

I was sitting in the very back of our large community theater. My daughter, the one with the blue hair, was a small speck of a kid on the stage. And THIS, this photo? From my seat, all the way to her, with NO flash.

Not bad, eh?

Oh. And neither was the concert. Festival’s this Friday, and my fingers are crossed.