Guitar photography

Discussion in 'Les's Living Room' started by AlanBiker, May 8, 2016.

  1. AlanBiker

    AlanBiker New Member

    Not easy is it, the first thing I see looking at my pictures is all those fingermarks so an obvious tip is to clean it up!! Then if you use a flash there's all the reflections from the shiny surface so I tried taking it outside into natural light but there can still be reflections on a bright day.

    Any tips?

  2. johnreardon

    johnreardon Active Member

  3. AlanBiker

    AlanBiker New Member

    Thanks John,

    Some useful hints in there.

  4. AlanBiker

    AlanBiker New Member

  5. John L Rose

    John L Rose New Member

    I'm surprised that neither of those tutorials mentioned polarizing filters. They're great for cutting through glare on water, windows, and shiny surfaces, so that the colour looks more saturated.
    Back when I still used my 35 mm SLR film camera, I'd always use them when photographing cars, because you'd get much richer colour in the paint jobs.
  6. duceditor

    duceditor New Member

    There are two general approaches to photographing a subject such as a guitar. The first is the technical approach -- one used to provide information. Straight on views with the goal of clarity. Reflections are here your enemy, as are brightly exposed highlights and deep shadows. (For such hide, rather than reveal, information.)

    The second is more akin to a glamour shot. The guitar is placed and lit so as to reveal (or even enhance) its beauty. The goal here is to awaken an emotional response rather than to provide information.

    Generally new photographers think in terms of equipment and technique, just as do student musicians.

    More experienced photographers, as is the case with musicians, look passed the equipment and technique, seeing such simply as tools. Their focus is on the image. And since "photography", which literally means 'drawing with light,' is about how light reveals a subject the quality of the light itself is often as much the focus on the image maker attention as is the subject -- the guitar

    Studios are designed for that very purpose -- to give the photographer control of light. To make it "hard" or "soft," to control its direction and to what degree it illuminates the subject.

    But if we train our eyes to see the light -- not just the subject -- and become aware of the environment -- we can do what a studio photographer does without the studio.

    I am a recently retired career imager. My specialty was creating images for journals, books and presentation purposed for the scientific and medical community.

    Most of my working life I had studio space and gear, as well as darkrooms (color and b/w) plus, later, advanced digital work stations. But the following images were all taken in my home using gear no more sophisticated than that had by the average hobbyist.

    The subject may appear to be the guitars. In fact it was what was revealed about those instruments by the carefully controlled light falling on the them.

    All natural light, btw. Coming in through a window and/or a skylight. No reflectors. Nothing but placement, observation, attention and thought.


    Attached Files:

  7. johnreardon

    johnreardon Active Member

    Here's a live action shot taken by a pro at a gig in Jan. He was standing in the pit at the front of the stage. The club was quite dark, although the stage was lit up. The guitar is a Stanleyburst R9 Yamano. The thing in jeans is me.

  8. AlanBiker

    AlanBiker New Member

    Some good ideas there, I do actually have a polarizing filter for my camera so I'll have to get it out of the bag!

    Nice picture of your guitar John but that guy is a pro so what else would you expect :)

    Some very nice pics there Duceditor, I can see I need to brush up my photo skills.

  9. rhythmrambler1

    rhythmrambler1 New Member

    Hey duceditor, did you swap out the saddles on your cabronita?
  10. johnreardon

    johnreardon Active Member

    This is another taken by the pro at the same gig.

    Unfortunately I spoiled it by leaving the tuner on

  11. duceditor

    duceditor New Member

    Nope. Apart from the bridge pup -- a custom hand wound one by Rose -- and the eventual switching over to a black pickguard -- it remains completely stock.

    The Cabronitas with dual Fidelitron PUPs use a different bridge. The Bigsby equipped ones have a Tele style bridge PUP and these use a Jazzmaster-type rocking bridge. These do not have the alignment issues often complained about on the other model.

  12. rhythmrambler1

    rhythmrambler1 New Member

    Thanks Duceditor. Mine has threaded saddles which I don't like. Like the black guard on yours better than the white one.
  13. jimilee

    jimilee Member

    Diffuse the flash with a white handkerchief or a piece of tape. Somethings my translucent that won’t block the whole output. Na k up from the guitar, if the resolution is high enough, you can crop it back in.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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