Lessons Learned About Quilt Entries and Photographs

Last night my oldest son Ken and his wife Beth invited me over to assist me in getting better photos of Canterbury Silk. Canterbury Silk received a very nice ribbon at MQX Midwest last year…Best Surface Design. It was shown at Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival. But it was rejected by AQS Paducah, AQS Syracuse, and AQS Grand Rapids. I think it may have been because of the not very good photograph I had sent in with those entries. I had used the same photo, and I didn’t realize how poor it was until a friend of mine on Facebook told me privately that the quilt was out of square and had some waves down the side. I still have it entered into AQS Chattanooga, and asked if I could replace the photo for that consideration. Fortunately, I slipped under the wire of being able to do that if I could get the photo there by this morning.

I spent several days trying to get the photo right. It was a lot better, but it still did not show the quilt as well as it should. It looked square, but if I got it so you could see the quilting, the colors seemed off elsewhere and the white bird washed out. So Ken, who has a really fine camera and a really keen eye, photographed it last night until he got a very good photo. He also did Canterbury Knight for me. So here is the result. I thought you might like to see the difference in the photo I submitted at first and the updated photo Ken took last night. Here is the original photo:

Canterbury Silk

Canterbury Silk

And here is the new photo (it actually is even  better than this, because I had to reduce the size for the blog): Canterbury Silk - retake I hope this makes enough difference for AQS to jury it into AQS Chattanooga. I love Chattanooga. I went to junior high and most of my high school there so many years ago. It would be a real honor for me to have my quilt there. Whether it does or not, it is clearly a better picture and should assist in other show entries. This is still a relatively new quilt and I plan on showing it and its brother quilt “Canterbury Knight” for several years. That is, if the shows will let them in.

Sew happy everyone. And get those pictures right before you submit them for a contest…ask your friends to tell you about the pictures. You may be surprised, because you are so close to working with your quilts sometimes you don’t even see the flaws on the picture.

Postscript: Several people have asked me about his camera setup. He had two diffused light sources designed for photography, his camera was further away than I could get mine, he used a remote to shoot with so he didn’t shake the tripod, and the quilt is pinned to Beth’s design wall rather than hanging, like I had it. Here are the settings from the image file:
camera data