In Progress: Replacement Raincoat. BWOF 9-2003-120

I (accidentally) left my LL Bean rain jacket back in Amsterdam. And, I never really took to the Burberry trench coat I made a few years ago. So, after all the rain on our trip, I was totally motivated to come home and start a new rain jacket.

I’m working on this 2003 Burda World of Fashion parka. It has an elasticized waist and all kinds of early ’00s decorative zipper action. As it’s unlined and thin, it’s perfect for summer and early and fall. I figure I’ve got like two more weeks left when it’s weather appropriate. So, you know, great timing on my part.IMGP1426

I’m making mine up in a red waterproof fabric and using blue ribbon and zippers for contrast. Red is SO HARD to photograph. I’ve read online to shoot in RAW with daylight settings and fiddle around with the color in post production. Still not a fan.

Here it is before: Over saturated with no detail

IMGP1424 - Version 2

Here it is post production: More detail, but super faded outIMGP1424

Sigh. Any other red shooting tips?

Anywho, I have a lot of work to do still. It’s got loads of top stitching — which you’ll only be able to see if I take black and white photos! The good thing is, this fabric was like $2 a yard at a production warehouse sale almost two years ago. I’d really like to finish this so I *can* wear it in the spring. Then, I can start on some winter outerwear.


  1. What kind of camera do you have? Fujifilm ones, for example, really make red hard to photograph.

    • I’m using a DSLR Pentax and a prosumer Pentax that also shoots RAW. I’m going to try outdoors next and see if that makes a difference.

  2. I shoot in raw with automatic white balance, then in post-production fiddle with the color temperature, making it about 5400K. I also shoot outside whenever possible.

  3. I think Pentax cameras can have a particularly hard time with red/pink– check the review here ( even though it’s for the K-3. Shooting in RAW and then postprocessing in Lightroom is what I’d suggest, though you might also try posting over at Pentax Forums ( and see what other people have to say. I’ve found that they are super friendly and helpful, unlike another *cough* photography forum, where people turn bitter and grumpy after a while…

  4. Red has always been a difficult color to photograph. Back in the old days, the best film for reds–by far–was Kodachrome slide film. Really, nothing else produced reds like Kodachrome, and it was brilliant. I don’t even know if anyone is still processing Kodachrome–sadly! Anyway, as far as both color film & digital goes, lighting is everything. In the absence of professional lighting, I suggest midday natural light. Also, due to its saturation, red tends to read as a dark tone, and this can cause the camera’s light meter to overexpose the image & the red then looks undersaturated. Try underexposing a stop or two and see what happens–but make sure that everything else you want visible in the shot is well lit too.

    The raincoat looks like it’ll be cute–looking forward to seeing it!

    • Thank you! I was looking at my old photos of that red coat from before and it’s a little blurry but not as bad as this (these were taken with my Pentax MX-1 — the Kx is in the shop). I also noticed the cell phone photo I took indoors with some light came out better too. I’ll try your tips! I just remember being really frustrated last time showing my coat because it wouldn’t photograph right!

      On Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • Actually, I mentioned midday sun, but if you can go outside on a (bright) overcast day, the light is great for color. Essentially, it’s a natural diffuser with minimal shadows. You may need to play around with exposure a bit. The bright sky can sometimes cause the meter to underexpose the image, depending on the set-up. Some people may use a fill-flash in that situation, but the easy alternative is to adjust exposure in the camera. At least I think it’s easier, but then, I learned on film cameras and still think that way!

  5. Looks great so far. I couldn’t help thinking tracing off a Burda from 2003 would be sooo much easier than the print it all on two sheets magazines of 2014.

  6. An unlined coat sounds like a great warm-up (so to speak) to cold weather sewing. Love the dramatic collar, which is going to look great. Are zippers everywhere so 00? Didn’t know that. It will look sporty and zippered pockets are great for outwear. Unless at airport departure checks. Anyway, you made someone really happy in Amsterdam with an LL Bean raincoat, which is going to get used out here in the damp Low Countries. So you have good karma that your project will turn out great. Am so in awe that you sew coats. They are so involved! You’ve real sewing stamina.

  7. Sounds like a couple of things; first, make sure your white balance is set for your light type – if your studio has fluorescent or incandescent bulbs, for example, I believe your camera has a setting for each under white balance (I have a Pentax K20D). Anyway, you can also then adjust white balance further to emphasize the red spectrum or highlight other areas of the spectrum based on how the images you get look. So in your first one, where the red is so saturated it’s reading fuschia, your light is reading v yellow, which probably has to do with incandescent bulb light relative to your white balance settings. Set your WB so that white looks white, as a starting point; then try shots of the color you want to capture specifically & adjust the spectrum saturation accordingly. Hope this helps!

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