A few weeks ago I posted some step by step pictures of how to start crocheting a hat. I never continued with the how-to because every time I was about to start I thought…”I should really paint my nails if they are going to be in pictures.” Or “It is too cloudy, the lighting’s no good.” Or “I’m switching to a thicker yarn so I can make the hat faster. I need to go buy some.”
Plus the last “tutorial” was so confusing and tedious to explain I wasn’t too keen to continue. But I still planned to make the actual hat. So I just made the hat, with new, thicker yarn (it only took a couple of hours to make because of the thicker yarn) and didn’t take any pictures of the process. It was a beautiful day of clear winter light but for some reason the only pictures I took today were with my iphone. Indoors. Which iphones take crappy pictures 79% of the time. 97% if they’re indoors. On successful home/garden/parenting/lifestyle blogs (by successful I mean blogs that are a day job) you would never see a crappy iphone shot. At least not as part of a “How-to”. You only see perfectly crisp clear images full of bright white backgrounds and strategic pops of color amid muted tones that just murmur, “Calm” and “Refined”. Exhibit A. Exhibit B. Blogging is not my day job. Blogging is a hobby. Of my hobbies. Therefore, if I want to put substandard photos on here of my crocheted hat with a pom-pom, it is ok.
Well it’s not really ok with me. It irks me. I’ve got standards. But what I don’t have are any stellar pictures of the hat or of my step-by-step tutorial of how to make a pom-pom. So I could forgo the tutorial and the hat until I get some better images…But I’m already 20 minutes into writing on the subject of hat-making and deficient photographs. And I’d like to be done with this post in another hour. Max. So I’ve thought of a solution. I’m going to post the photos. And point out the specifics of why the photos are bad and how they could be made better. Which is going to add a lot more how-to-ness to this post. Everybody wins.
And there was one good photo, so I’ll save that for last in hopes it will erase your memory of the shoddy shots. And so, I present:
How to Make a Pom-Pom and How Not to Take Photos of the Process
I actually like how the paper is wrinkled and not cut into perfect circles. It shows that it only takes a second to quickly cut two circle shapes out of paper. You needn’t bother with the extra step of finding a cup to trace or cut it out perfectly. The background is a bare wood windowsill and is a terrible choice (especially considering this is the worst-looking windowsill in our home). It should be on a white background. If I had taken with my real camera (instead of the iphone) it would be a much crisper image.
If you know nothing about photography (like me), just go outside. The pictures will improve immediately. So I should’ve ventured out into the cold to take all of these shots.
Another photography tip is that for every 100 pictures, about seven will be decent, five will be good and maybe one will be great. Taking 100 pictures of this pom pom process was not going to happen.
You could just use one longer piece, but it is easier to go in and around the disk with a shorter piece of yarn.
I used bandage scissors because they happened to be sitting in front of me. In good-photo world I would’ve used a less clunky-looking pair of shiny shears.
And tie it tight. I usually wrap and tie it a couple of times. Tie it very tight.
Pull out the two paper rings and voilà!
Made less exciting by an out of focus picture and the distracting unfinished wood background. And a piece of the window curtain is in the shot.
The extra length of yarn can be used to tie it to a hat. Or scarf. Or whatever your embellishing with a pom-pom. And for the record, you’re not allowed to use the word “embellish” when your pictures look this ugly.
Tie the pom-pom onto the hat and put it on your darling offspring.
Me, “Get dressed and get outside so I can take a picture of you in the hat.”
The Spy, “No way, I’m watching Happy Gilmore and I’m too cozy.”
The picture would’ve been made better by him changing out of my husband’s shirt (look at the neck hole!) and going outside so I’d have a background of golden leaves in the clear winter light. But he looked too cozy to persist.
And then I tried to compare the hat I just made with a hat I made awhile ago. Showing how one is more of a boy-shape and one is more of a girly-shape. And I was going to write about how I used three different yarns on the girl-hat.
And then I got one great photo: