The Great Wheel

Walking the Great Wheel

 

This is Sheep to Shawl weekend at Carriage Hill Farm. That means that the sheep are being shorn, some of the ladies are spinning the merino wool into yarn while others are weaving the yarn into shawls on the loom.

 

At the Great Wheel 2

 

My good friend Debbie told me that she would be working her great wheel and asked me if I would like to come in early to take photos before the public arrived. I was pretty excited because I had never seen the great wheel in use and we would be shooting in the natural morning light from my favorite window.

 

Searching the Basket

 

The challenges started very early. The morning turned out to be rainy and the light from the window was weaker than normal. I had to run back to the car to get my tripod. I had hoped to shoot a little more agile, but I would rather be tied to the tripod than get shaky shots. I really don't like to shoot handheld slower than 1/30th of a second.

While Debbie prepared to spin, I set up the camera gear.

 

At the Great Wheel

 

The great wheel is also called a walking wheel because the spinner walks back and forth while spinning the wheel by hand.

 

Spindle

 

The larger wheel causes the spindle to spin very fast, adding a lot of twist to the yarn, perfect for wool.

 

One Skein Finished

 

Debbie made fast work of the wool and before long, she had a skein ready to go. For me, the shoot was as much about post processing as it was about taking the photos. I converted the images to black and white and thought they looked pretty good, I decided that they could use a little warmth. I decided to then add a little sepia tone, finally deciding on only 15% level. I didn't want the images to be brown.

Finally, I wanted to throw the viewer back in time and anchor them there. So, I added a vignette to each of the images.

I hope you like the images. Drop me a comment to let me know what you think.

Tim

 

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