Guitar Art - The Difficulty of Photographing Guitars

Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by duceditor, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    74
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    On the idea of using window light. Here's an image that clearly does just that. And here, since the clarity of the day, and the time the photo was taken, created light streaking in upon the area I wished to use I, instead of fighting such, made it a part of the composition.

    Such fits in with a theme often expressed here on S-T. "Play what you've got."


    This is my Squier Vintage Modified Jazzmaster.


    VM Jazzmaster.jpg

    It's worth saying that this shot, too, was taken with just an iPhone. No fancy or expensive gear whatever.


    -don
     
  2. TVvoodoo

    TVvoodoo Squier Talker

    Age:
    54
    63
    May 26, 2020
    Sasquatchewan
    Few ideas... avoid open coffin viewings... that is... shots of your guitar "in case". If you do, at least have enough respect to include some white lilies and candles for your dearly departed.

    Avoid or hide obvious straplock systems, but i suggest inclusion of a nice strap or cool coily cord... they can be like the "high heels" of a guitar boudoir shot and differentiate your photo greatly from thousands of other pics of similar instruments.

    Take lots of frames from varying angles then cull and/or crop. We don't have to see the whole instrument.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Age:
    50
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    I love threads like this. Thanks Don for starting it. Photography is something I think is very cool, but know very little about. But reading all this stuff and seeing the pictures gets me excited about trying stuff.

    The sun is shining bright here at my house today, so inspired by @duceditor ’s photo, I decided to try a couple headstock photos.

    D57A8BD6-9634-467D-867D-375A8708E587.jpeg 5177A31C-D5A9-481C-9DDE-E136B44A5F05.jpeg
     
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  4. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    74
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    Beautiful geets and pix TVv! :)



    Nice compositions! The shadows are truly part of the pix! :)

    -don
     
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  5. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    74
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    There are two separate activities at work -- working together -- in the making of any visual art. This applies to every photograph beyond the mere 'snap shot' (which merely makes record of what was), but here, of course, we are applying both these attributes to guitar photographs.

    The first is the technical. Having the means through developed skills, techniques, technology and materials to make the image into what we want it to be. And it is this one -- the technical -- that we tend to focus on when we want to take better pictures.

    But it is the second, and less considered one, that IMO should really be first. In fact when I, some years ago taught a course in photography to students in the Boston school system's Gifted and Talented Program it was this one, and this one alone, that I talked about and focused the student's attention on. It was learning to see -- both with the eyes and the imagination -- the five components of an image.

    These are:

    Shape
    Form
    Texture
    Color
    Pattern

    The assignments I gave the class was to photograph something -- and it mattered not what -- where the one assigned attribute from that list was central to the image.

    To help them focus on this, and this alone, we took as much of the technical side out of the equation. We used Polaroid cameras and film -- those now totally outdated, but at one time oh so "Oh wow!" cameras where after you took 'the shot' there was a whirring sound and out popped a quickly developing color image.


    Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 12.05.34 PM.png

    Indeed, I'd approached Polaroid (whose corporate headquarters were conveniently located just across the Charles River, in Cambridge MA) soliciting their help with the program. And Polaroid, upon learning of it and my goals for the students, came on 100% as a corporate sponsor. I.e., all the cameras and film was free, (Can you say wooHoo! The students sure did!) :)

    I'm not going to suggest an actual "course" here. But if anyone is interested in pursuing this concept --learning to isolate the key elements of an image and make them work -- I'd be happy to be involved. We -- as many as might be interested -- could go through that list of image components, choosing one at a time, a then share a guitar themed photo that focuses (pun very much intended!) on just that one of them.

    Sorry, though. No Polaroids! We'll each have to use whatever camera we have.

    Anyone interested just say the word! :)

    -don
     
  6. Guitarthur

    Guitarthur Squier-Meister

    Age:
    67
    150
    Oct 21, 2020
    Maine
    Interesting that I had been thinking about a guitar strap post lately. You’ve got some cool ones .
     
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  7. Guitarthur

    Guitarthur Squier-Meister

    Age:
    67
    150
    Oct 21, 2020
    Maine
  8. Guitarthur

    Guitarthur Squier-Meister

    Age:
    67
    150
    Oct 21, 2020
    Maine
    Wakey wake Pinky !
     
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  9. Leo Jazzmaster

    Leo Jazzmaster Squier-Meister

    Age:
    45
    140
    May 14, 2020
    West Tennessee
    I'm in.
     
  10. TVvoodoo

    TVvoodoo Squier Talker

    Age:
    54
    63
    May 26, 2020
    Sasquatchewan
    Thank you @Guitarthur - as a strapmaker, you know I welcome any discourse related to slings - I believe the most underappreciated gear category, in regards to potential for stable importance/improvement.
    100%^ Full disclosure.... Many of the guitar photographs I end up taking are more showcase my work for the shop, or are collected from lovingly snapped photos sent back from those I have served.
    And I have quite a collection. I think they still qualify as sexy guitar shots

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Age:
    50
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    That sounds like fun to me. I’m in!
     
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  12. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    74
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    You do absolutely BEAUTIFUL work! (and the pic are lovely too!) :)

    -don
     
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  13. Hadronic Spin

    Hadronic Spin J Squier, Esquier Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    56
    359
    Jan 27, 2021
    Los Angeles
    I just ran a quick test for comparative reasons; direct flash, bounced flash and no flash.

    I used my Canon EOS M100 with a pop-up flash. The first photo is with direct flash from the M100's pop-up flash. Second photo the flash is still engaged, but I held a 3x5 index card in front of the flash unit at the edge of the lens. The index card was angled just enough to catch the flash and bounce it upwards, being careful enough with the index card angle to not allow any direct flash onto the subject. The third photo is no flash at all.

    Camera settings for all three photos: 22mm lens, 1/50th sec, f/5.6 and iso 400.

    Direct flash:
    IMG_1482_LR.jpg

    Bounced flash:
    IMG_1492_LR.jpg

    No flash:
    IMG_1484_LR.jpg

    As you can see, the direct flash photo is brighter than the bounced photo, but it's also very harsh with harsh shadows. I could brighten the bounce photo by simply bumping the iso to 800 for a one-stop gain, or opening up my aperture from f/5.6 to f/4, also a one-stop gain. A change could also be made to the shutter speed, but I was already at my slowest limit to me with that lens.

    The bounce technique with index card can also be done with most point and shoot cameras, as well. I've done it.

    Me, I use available light exclusively. Studio lighting has it's place, and I've been down that money burning and time consuming rabbit hole. It's just too much work for what I photograph, and I'm not making a living shooting. So, I still look for creative ways to light, always being mindful of the quality of light on hand.

    Regards

    J
     
  14. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    74
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    Nice demo Hadronic Spin!

    Be fun and interesting to see a similar demo with a subject less flat and more visually complex. A guitar in 3/4 profile in front of an amp, or a few guitars other than flat before the camera.

    Each 'trick' becomes part of your arsenal. A problem solver. And the more we have of those the more interesting, complex and imaginative our pix can be.

    Good stuff! :)

    -don
     
  15. Hadronic Spin

    Hadronic Spin J Squier, Esquier Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    56
    359
    Jan 27, 2021
    Los Angeles
    While throwing together the flash comparison, I couldn't let a shadow go to waste...

    IMG_1478-Edit-Edit_DxO-2_LR.jpg

    Available light.


    J
     
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  16. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    74
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    And note what that did to the perceived texture of the wall. Where there was boring nothing there is now something of interest.

    This is an excellent example of why and how directional control of light is such a valuable and essential tool in composing a photograph.

    :)

    -don
     
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  17. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Age:
    50
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    Here is another one I tried this afternoon. Tried to get a weird angle with lots of contrast in color.

    205425AD-000B-48E6-A6ED-E774DAA88351.jpeg
     
  18. Hadronic Spin

    Hadronic Spin J Squier, Esquier Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    56
    359
    Jan 27, 2021
    Los Angeles
    Cool and interesting photograph! Love that Strat of yours, too!

    J
     
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  19. Exhead

    Exhead Squier-Meister

    127
    Jul 15, 2015
    Nevada
    I would add these as successful attempts at taking some pics. My wife's plant sitting area is a great source of light. It is getting overgrown overtime though.
    IMG_2433.JPG IMG_2435.JPG IMG_2627.JPG
     
  20. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    Some tweaking can be fun too.

    Vintage.jpg
    I also like them floating over snow.

    neige 3-.jpg
     
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