Making tiny tack is, like any art, a process of growth. Skill and understanding of your craft improves with every piece, though the fruit of this isn't always visible in the next saddle, or even the one after that.
I am now the proud owner of a full sized western saddle. I picked it up at a garage sale for $25 with nothing more than a significant coating of dust. I cleaned it up and took a plethora of useful photos that I'm uploading to Picasa as I type, but goodness they're large.
So while those upload, here's a quick post on
Sounds ominous, doesn't it? But trust me, it's not.
When you start collecting reference photos, and it will happen, you need a way to keep them all straight. Sometimes photos of the same saddle are obvious, sometimes not so much. Sometimes its easy to remember the make of a saddle, sometimes not. So here's what I do.
I have two reference folders, one for finish work and one for tack. We're focusing on tack today.
Within that folder...are sub folders. Lots of sub folders.
I find it extremely helpful to include the name, maker, type of tack and date in the folder name. "Stubben Roxanne", for instance, probably doesn't require a date because it's modern. If it's antique or historical, I'd include it.
In those sub folders, I take advantage of Win8's handy author feature thingy. I'm really sure it was there in previous versions, I've just now noticed it.
I really, really like crediting photographers where possible. It also makes it easier to track them down later if I want to get permission to post the photos or use them in a publication.
At some point, I will probably find it necessary to split my subfolders out. How to split is tough...english saddles don't always fall into clearly defined categories, and neither do western. What I will most likely do is a 'generic' split into english, western, gaited, fantasy, and "other".
You might ask where I get these reference photos...well, I'll cover that next.