This informative post is about what one needs to know when first attempting to take needlepoint pics with a digital camera. Many thanks to Marilyn for her excellent contribution!
Guest post by Marilyn
First, let’s discuss white balance.
Tungsten lights are normal, old fashioned light bulbs like we all grew up with. I think the newfangled ones are built to simulate the old ones, so this may still apply. When you look in a lit window at night, the light appears yellow.
Why is that?
Because it is. So when you have the camera set to Tungsten, the camera will add blue to the photo to counteract the yellow that you are telling it is in the scene. Hence your dingy gray blue photos. [Ed note: gulp!]
Fluorescent light, on the other hand, is greenish.
Remember film photos taken in the office? When you set the camera to fluorescent, it will add magenta to counteract the green you told it was there. Daylight is nice, white light that doesn’t need any help from the camera, which is what the Daylight setting does. Nothing.
Unless, of course, a hurricane is approaching, when daylight might be green. But I digress. Cloudy and shade are a bit blue, so the camera will add yellow and orange to offset them if that is what you have the camera set to. When you use a good light that is daylight balanced, like Ott lights or some fluorescent bulbs, then you should be able to use the daylight setting on your camera.
Auto white balance is telling the camera to really take charge and figure out the lighting for itself. Most of the time, it does a very good job. But when we fussy stitchers really want the colors to be right, Auto sometimes fails us. For instance, when taking a close up where the whole frame is taken up with my teal and purple geometric, the camera really has no way of knowing what colors it is seeing.
The Auto setting works best on normal photos, of people, scenery, etc., that the camera somehow has in its repertoire. Regarding f-stop, that controls how much of the photo is in focus. When shooting painted canvases, they should be flat and at right angles to the camera, so the f-stop can be a very low number, which is also a very small depth of field.
When taking overall shots of the shop, you would want a higher numbered f-stop so that the whole photo is in focus. Shutter speed works with f-stop to get the exposure right. The smaller the f-stop number, the faster the shutter speed will be. With larger f-stop numbers, the shutter speed will have to be longer, and that may mean you need a tripod to keep the camera still.
© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016
Light meter img from Photo.net