Guitar photography

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by rocking rooster, May 13, 2020.

  1. Treehouse

    Treehouse Tele-Meister

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    All of these pictures in this thread are beautiful guitars.

    And no offense: but they all look like photos taken by guitarists instead of guitars taken by photographers.
     
  2. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's

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    @tvvoodoo has pretty much covered it. That’s one of the great things about tdpri - there’s so many members that we have at least one pro in just about everything.

    Looking for backgrounds can be fun. When we had this old roll off dumpster on hand removing wreckage from a house, I wanted to take everything I owned out there for a pic. FEA066A8-727E-4535-856E-2ABB2FB77AC9.jpeg
     
  3. ejphotos

    ejphotos Tele-Meister

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    I like to focus (pun kind of intended) on composition and features of the guitar using the available light I have. I've never been a fan of flash, with direct or bounced. Rule of thirds and leading lines are key in photos too, even of inanimate objects like a guitar.

    Couple of examples:

    [​IMG]

    The reflection of light in this picture could be seen as a negative or a positive: Negative in the way that it blocks view of some of the body and could be distracting, but positive in the way that it highlights the texture/ruggedness of the body. You can tell I shot this with a wide aperture (F2.0 IIRC) for a narrow depth of field to blur out the foreground and background.
    This was shot with an Olympus 4/3 camera with a 24mm lens, which is equivalent to a 50mm on a full frame (that focal length is closest to how the human eye sees).

    [​IMG]

    This is pretty self explanatory. Another narrow depth of field, focusing on the f-hole. On this photo, I could have cropped a little bit of the left side out. Same lens.
     
  4. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Tele-Afflicted

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    The reds, nice touch? or happy accident!
     
  5. koen

    koen Friend of Leo's

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    4) Remove all clutter in the background
     
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  6. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's

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    The latter, of course:lol:
     
  7. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    Lighting: this is probably the most critical. Light/dark contrast adds interest by showing depth and texture. When shooting figured woods, there is absolutely no better choice than natural sunlight because the light rays are parallel, which accentuates the 'depth' of figure in the wood.

    Eye leaders: be aware of features in and around your subject that direct and guide the viewer's eyes through and across the image. Think of them as little arrows with 'look here' labels.

    Composition using the shutter button: try hard to lose reliance on cropping, color adjustment, etc. later on. Just like when recording music: getting it right, on tape, with as little post production shenanigans as possible will deliver the goods far better than doctoring it later. Unless, of course, you're adding effects for...effect.
     
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  8. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    IMO, @DHart takes some wonderful telephotography pictures and I always look forward to seeing those. There are some other colleagues here who take pictures for a living and hopefully they'll stop by. Every now and then I take some photos that I think are slightly better than my usual crime scene shots. Usually I'm just trying to display something in particular for discussion purposes.
    LP Studio in the Heights.jpg

    detail - back flame maple and purfling.jpg
    upload may11 2016 195.JPG
     
  9. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Holic

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    These are my favorites.

    5nXOztF.jpg 0D1JKst.jpg oKMVOE0.jpg
     
  10. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I have written and photographed online articles for Guitar World Magazine and Guitar Player Magazine. I learned most of what I know about guitar photography from the following (now-ancient) website when I started years ago:

    https://www.liutaiomottola.com/BunnyBass/intro.htm

    To that I added Adobe Lightroom so that I can crop, straighten, reformat, and do a bit of mild color adjusting.

    The camera is the least important factor in photography for me. For instance, back when I did travel writing, one of the first articles that someone published was a multi-page, color, cover spread for the 2007 New Year's edition of a major newspaper. All the photos were taken with a $100, 4-megapixel pocket camera.

    Here are some pics that made it for Guitar World. The first two were taken with a DSLR, the third was taken with my old cell phone that I whipped out at a guitar store. BAECK_Guitar_World-3983-3.jpg BAECK_Guitar_World-3892.jpg BAECK_Guitar_World-0076.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  11. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Afflicted

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    Wow, some really nice photos here!

    I'm curious how you Tele playing photographers would compare your guitar GAS to your photo GAS. Which hobby pulls harder at your wallet? And why?
     
  12. DugT

    DugT Tele-Holic

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    One of the most common mistakes that I see is a distracting background. It is usually best to keep the focus on the guitar and having a dull background helps with that. If you want to show off a guitar, you don't want any background taking ones attention away from the guitar.

    tvvoodoo has some great photos and comments in post #16. If you can't find a good complimentary atmosphere background like tvvoodo, try for a blurry or dull background.

    By the way, it is easier to get a blurry background with a regular camera than it is with a cell phone. Cell phones are especially good at getting the whole shot in focus. They have a deep depth of field.

    201710265Ds-1163.jpg

    201708055Ds-0518-Edit.jpg

    Edit: for the second shot I used black cloth for the background. Maybe I used the cloth for the first shot too but I don't remember.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  13. doctorunderhill

    doctorunderhill Tele-Meister

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  14. matmosphere

    matmosphere Tele-Afflicted

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    the easy answer is that photography is all about light. The top five most important things to getting a great photo are

    Light
    Light
    Light
    Light
    And light

    pay attention to we’re your light sources are inside. It’s easier to work with one or two light sources than just whatever lights are on in the room. Work close to windows and use the natural light, supplement with a lamp as needed and watch what the shadows are doing.

    outdoors on a semi sunny day is always a good bet, but there’s a big difference between high noon and first thing in the morning/last glimpse of sunlight. Once again keep an eye on where the light source is and use it.

    composition is next, I’d suggest reading a few brief articles to get some basic ideas.

    Don’t get caught up in the technical stuff until you have a good hold on the light stuff and composition. You will get to a point where you’ll discover the need for more control or not. But it’s much easier to need the control and learn how to use the tool than to understand the tool and not understand why you need it. Sorry that’s poorly worded but I hope it makes sense.


    this is great advice. Spot on and simple.

    Don’t overthink it.
     
  15. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    If you take enough once in a while you get lucky. This is one of my favorites.

    SAM_1170.JPG
     
  16. cc50fralin

    cc50fralin Tele-Holic

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    If I may echo some of the advice already stated, try to take photos of anything only in the two hours after sunrise or before sunset; before the light gets harsh.

    Light after dawn and before sunset is also very directional. Learn to really look through your viewfinder, and take your time composing the picture.
    It amazes me how many people rush to take any kind of picture, especially at weddings. Many times, pictures taken at a wedding are once in a lifetime shots.

    Slow down, even if you're using a phone.
    As much as you can, use a tripod.
    A tripod will do two things: It will enable you to use slower shutter speeds that would cause blur if hand-held, and it will give you consistent images if you're taking more than one picture.
    I'm no master photographer, this is just what I've learned in fooling around with photography since I was 18.
    I am now 63.
    I'll post some images a little later.
    Mike ;)
     
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  17. RhinestoneStrat

    RhinestoneStrat Tele-Meister

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    I can't understand why some people take pictures of their guitars on top of their dirty laundry. I think the background is as important as the guitar. I use no flash and I use my LG-K4 phone for pictures.:)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I humbly submit that I don’t understand why some people would take pics of their guitars covered in snow. I’d be less disturbed by a pile of laundry in the background. :(
     
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  19. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    Dude, that SG type guitar is incredible! What is that? Did you build it yourself?
     
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  20. Jack Clayton

    Jack Clayton Tele-Meister

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    Unrelated question: can you tell me the model of the Gretsch? I really want one like that.
     
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