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Huntley & Palmers vintage biscuit tin + knitted interpretation by Felicity Ford, image © Fergus Ford
Meet the Photographer!

Many people have written to say how much they like the film for my Kickstarter Campaign!

A still from the promotional film for The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook Kickstarter Campaign, © Fergus Ford

A still from the promotional film for The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook Kickstarter Campaign, © Fergus Ford and used with kind permission

I am really pleased you like what we did, because if my Kickstarter campaign is successful, then my brother Fergus Ford – who made the film – will be working on lots of other photography for this book.

The opportunity to work with Ferg is one of my favourite things about working on The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook, because he is quite frankly amazing at what he does. He is technical and perfectionist about his photography, and I think this approach really pays off. Check out his beautiful photos of Puffins and Terns in Shetland! I think these photos are beautiful, and it was amazing to read about his experiences of being in Shetland after I was there last year for Wool Week.

Puffin photographed in Shetland © Fergus Ford

Puffin photographed in Shetland © Fergus Ford

Tern photographed in Shetland © Fergus Ford

Tern photographed in Shetland © Fergus Ford

Ferg thinks with a lot of precision about light and shade and colours and depth of field and focus and so on – as is clear from how he shot the Kickstarter film – but something that is new to him as a professional photographer is photographing WOOL!

Huntley & Palmers vintage biscuit tin + knitted interpretation by Felicity Ford, image © Fergus Ford

Huntley & Palmers vintage biscuit tin + knitted interpretation by Felicity Ford, image © Fergus Ford

Because many of you also like to photograph your WOOL, I thought you might enjoy hearing from Fergus about working on the photography for The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook. I sent him a few questions, and here are his replies, plus photos!

1. Could you say a bit about your work as a photographer, what you generally work on, and how doing the photography for this knitting book will take your photography into new areas? Are there any aspects of working on the book which you are especially excited about?

My main love is wedding photography – it is the Bee’s Knees.

Beautiful wedding photography by my talented brother Fergus Ford! Check out the LIGHT! © Fergus Ford

Beautiful Wedding Photography by my talented brother Fergus Ford! Check out the LIGHT! © Fergus Ford

I love the pressure, the excitement, the anticipation… but above all I love the huge array of disciplines it involves. You have some reportage, some product and macro, some high fashion, some formal posing… what is there not to love?! The cream on the cake, however, is when you deliver that album and you see the bride and groom’s reaction to the work. I will NEVER get tired of that!

Wedding photography by my talented brother Fergus Ford! Beautiful composition with the trees and the happy couple © Fergus Ford

Wedding photography by my talented brother Fergus Ford! Beautiful composition with the trees and the happy couple © Fergus Ford

With the KNITSONIK project, it has been very interesting; more than anything else I am shooting something I have never worked with before (WOOL!) and so look forward to the challenges that this will throw up. As we found out on the first day, wool just EATS light; you get zero reflection from it, and so the challenge and enjoyment comes from getting a large amount of soft, directional light to show off the patterns to their true beauty. When you are shooting people, the skin naturally reflects light, so I know how to create flattering shape and texture; learning how to do the same with wool will be a great learning process for me!

The delicious Jamieson & Smith 100% WOOL yarn that will be the basis for The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook, photo © Fergus Ford

The delicious Jamieson & Smith 100% WOOL yarn that will be the basis for The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook, photo © Fergus Ford

2. Obviously you are my brother and this is the first time that we have worked together on a professional project! I always imagine that siblings just automatically know what each other are up to, but I learnt a lot about how you approach editing and photography when we made the film for the Kickstarter campaign; have their been any big surprises for you in learning a bit more about my knitting?

Absolutely! I had NO idea just how technical knitting is. It appears to be one big mathematical equation, and it was great to see how you have so cleverly simplified the process and made it easy to understand – even for a complete noob like me. Before we embarked on this project, I had not even thought that people could come up with their own patterns; and seeing how the stitches come together reminds me of the old 8bit computer games that we had as kids. Everything is draw out pixel by pixel, on a very simple grid – any game I ever played on our old Amstrad would be perfect fodder for knitting patterns!

Our favourite 8-bit graphic computer game in the 1980s: Roland in Time! Perhaps this should form the basis for some Stranded Colourwork?!

Our favourite 8-bit graphic computer game in the 1980s: Roland in Time! Perhaps this should form the basis for some Stranded Colourwork?!

3. I am really excited about working with you on the photography for the book: my goals for that are that we should end up with photographs where the colours are great and where readers will get some sense of the texture of the lovely Shetland Wool I’m using in the book, and I’m also really excited about how we will do the “HOW TO” photographs! Do you have views on how we’ll organise each of these different aspects?

The main goal here is to give the reader a real sense of ‘touch’ through a photograph. Just like a good cookery book enables you to taste the sumptuous dishes before you have even started cooking, so too will our photos of the work. We will achieve this with beautiful, soft light, and with a mixture of macro, closeups and more wide shot – showing all the swatches in their best light, paying attention to every tiny detail.

Big close up on the Knitting Bricks swatch by Felicity Ford, photo © Fergus Ford

Big close up on the Knitting Bricks swatch by Felicity Ford, photo © Fergus Ford

4. I think that one of the biggest challenges with this book is going to be getting the cover image right. I know it’s early to tell, but do you have any ideas at all about what we might end up using, and if you had to hazard a guess, do you have any ideas what that final image might be?

I LOVE the sloes swatch. The deep purples and blues really work for me, and I will push for that to be heavily involved in the cover for sure!

The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook Kickstarter Campaign image © Felicity Ford

The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook Kickstarter Campaign image © Felicity Ford

Funny that Fergus thought the sloes should be used on the final cover for the book, as that was what I instinctively picked to be the cover for the Kickstarter Campaign! If you enjoyed reading about Ferg’s approach to photographing knitting, he has more to say about it here. Don’t forget to check out the Fyberspates blog tomorrow for the launch of the KNITSONIK blog tour, and thank you once again for your amazing support for my book.

3 Responses to Meet the Photographer!

  1. Elaine says:

    Such beautiful photographs. The wool seems to have a “life” to it!!
    I pledged on Jen A-C’s blogsite because I could not download your info on my computer for some reason–just the written words, no audio or film.
    So looking forward to November!

  2. Joanna says:

    Puffins and terns are my favourite birds! He captures them so well. I think it’s amazing that this book will be a sibling collaboration and love the thought of you two learning more about each other as you work together on it.

    • Thanks, Joanna! Ferg will be thrilled that you like his photos. I too am very happy about the sibling aspect of the project, Ferg and his wife Si├ón lived in Barbados and on cruise ships for a long time, taking photos and saving up for a first home. It is lovely to have them back in the UK and to find that there is so much to share in our respective creative professions :)

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