Photographing Fabrics #1

Typical Moire on Cordura
Typical Moire on a Photograph of Cordura fabric

After making a garment, one of the challenges is to photograph it in a way that illustrates its quality. Modern digital cameras, which in so many ways exceed the convenience of their film predecessors, have one serious drawback. The colour frequency of fabrics often clashes with the design of typical RGB sensor filters especially anti-aliasing filters. This results in stripes, bands, and other digital artifacts known as moiré. The question is, how to solve the problem?

YKK Zipper Slider
Belt-Loop and Zipper Slider: Fuji X-E1 with 60mm Macro

The solution we employ avoids the frequency pattern of the RGB “Bayer” filter array through an alternative filter layout called X-Trans pioneered by FujiFilm.

Conventional Filter Array
Conventional Filter Array
X-Trans Filter Array
X-Trans Filter Array

This novel filter is complimented by a camera design which does away with the anti-aliasing filter found in nearly all cameras, and uses some fairly serious programming skills to interpret the recorded image. The result is less moiré and a better record of the fabric.