Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Shetland ponies and the problems of photographing wool

I haven't been able to completely finish my big Shetland stallion model yet, alas, as I am waiting for more wool to arrive. So I've settled for a baby version, in colours of wool which I do have.

This model is smaller (maybe even about the actual size of a foal compared to its daddy, though I wasn't consciously trying to make it so). It has a wire armature, which gives it structural stability and also enables me to give the model skinny baby legs.

I have out more effort into the face than into the hooves. But wool, while ultimately mouldable, is not so easy to photograph. It always just looks woolly! Really fine wool like merino or corriedale can be very firmly needle felted to a smooth finish, which I always aspire to. Coarser wools like Shetland wool usually has a few fibres sticking out even after felting, which is suitable for wiry terriers, but not so good for sleek cats, or human skin. I am very pleased with the finish of my pieces as I look at them with the naked eye, but through the eye of my digital camera they always look too bushy and woolly, and just not as good as they do in real life. The camera seems to highlight bits of wool that my eyes have airbrushed out. I suppose making a photo look as good as the real thing + my perception of it is what makes a good photographer.

So you'll have to take my word for it that this baby's nose is as soft and kissable as the Shetland foals in the photographs that I have used as models. Frances' photographs are truly amazing, and her descriptions of her animals bring them to life. The more I look at them the more I want to cover my walls with them, especially these ones. (When I do cover my walls with them, I will be able to buy them from Frances' From the Wilde shop, by the way.)



  1. oh thank you Frances! I love them too ;-) Baby animals are lovely and baby geegees are some of the loveliest of baby animals. I will continue trying to perfect them...

  2. Wow! this is totally fabulous!! I'm in awe!

  3. Thanks Vicki!! Lovely lovely wool hey :-)