How to improve the Guitar Shots?

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by jtg116, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. jtg116

    jtg116 Too Many Guitars, Too Little Time

    Messages:
    418
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    The Hudson Valley NY
    The shot of the Royal, I think, was aided by the light, the Mel on the other hand was not. I looked from many angles, used a polarizing lens, waited for an overcast day, stuck a pin in a doll and spit rum. How do you best take a pic of a guitar without so much glare? I dunno

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Matt F

    Matt F Member

    Messages:
    870
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Location:
    Lakeland, FL
    Id'e like to know as well, my pics always look like poop..
     
  3. jtg116

    jtg116 Too Many Guitars, Too Little Time

    Messages:
    418
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    The Hudson Valley NY
    I didn't realize the Royal didn't make it.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. photoguy

    photoguy Member

    Messages:
    2,560
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Everybody's gotta be somewhere.
    The best advice I can give you is to think of your guitar's surface as a mirror...IOW, it will reflect whatever it "sees". A polarizing filter is a good choice but works best on very directional light and is less effective on soft light as from an overcast day.

    If you have the ability to provide light, make sure that it isn't reflected into the surface either by moving the light source or moving the camera. The latter will have the effect of changing your view of the guitar however. In the case of your Mel, it appears that you've caught your reflection in the surface, or more specifically, you've blocked that part of the sky with your body. It also appears that the sky was brighter where it reflected in the fore arm cut. Try holding a large peice of white cardboard over the guitar (you'll need to compensate the exposure) to provide an even tone to the reflection.You'll be able to see the results of this technique immediately and can move it exactly where it needs to be.
    Here's an example of a guitar that I shot in the studio. While there is a broad soft light reflected in the surface (that's what shows the chrome as white), that light source (actually a peice of white foam core) is not as powerful as the other light I'm using that is more directional but reflected away from the camera lens. So while there is a reflection there, it's not as obvious. it does show though where the knobs are reflected in the surface of the guitar. What you're really looking at there is the large reflective panel behind the guitar. Unfortunately, there's no way around the guitar surface being reflecive, but there are ways to minimize it.
    [​IMG]

    Hope this helps a little.
     
  5. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,216
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    5868 ft above sea level
    There's always the option of using a light tent.

    There are a lot of good tips in this article.
     
  6. jtg116

    jtg116 Too Many Guitars, Too Little Time

    Messages:
    418
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    The Hudson Valley NY
    Great ideas! That is a fantastic article. Man is my wife going to get pissed when I move the funiture around to get good light, and use the couch pillows to reflect onto my Ebony LP. Photoguy, I can't believe how you can "read" the shot so well, the pic of your Deluxe is a great shot. Thanks Much
     
  7. photoguy

    photoguy Member

    Messages:
    2,560
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Everybody's gotta be somewhere.
    jtg-
    Thanks for the nice words. I've been doing this for a long time, so it's almost second nature at this point. Kind of like the way many of you guys play guitar. My guitar playing is laborious to say the least, many of you guys seem to do it without much effort!

    The bottom line in photography is to learn to see with your eyes...instead of seeing what we want to see, see what's really there. Once you've mastered that, the rest is easy!

    Best of luck...post some more pictures after you've re-arranged the house!
     
  8. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,044
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Matte needs to jump in here. His pics are always fantastic.
     
  9. Brian D

    Brian D Member

    Messages:
    5,921
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Like photoguy said, in addition to filtering the light correctly, using indirect sunlight works very well. A cloudy day, or in the morning or evening when the sun is low, seems to work best.

    I wish you luck! I didn't have much success with my last attempt at photgraphing my guitar, but I'll try again soon.
     
  10. gassyndrome

    gassyndrome Member

    Messages:
    1,546
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Location:
    sunny Australia
    I think sometimes it looks cool to snap just particular sections of the guitar too - the nice arch on a PRS, or the area around the bridge on a LP :)
    Direct sunlight is harder, but generally any cool guitar in natural light, and not straight on looks sweet.

    I find it amazing when people try and sell a 2 thousand dollar guitar, with a picture taken in the dark, in a case, with the flash on? Could be anything in that case :D

    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page