Monday, February 21, 2011

My Yamaha Guitar

Old Film Acoustic Guitar
Several years ago, I used to play the guitar.  I've sort of given it up since I took up photography.  Didn't make a conscious decision, but rather have just not made the time needed to keep practicing.  Over time, the callused fingers heal, the finger-strength and speed diminish, and after a bit longer, the finger memory goes.  Now you have to actually think about what notes to play next.

One of these days, I will try to set aside some regular time to play again.  I think a few months of playing regularly should get me back to where I was.  As the AC/DC song, Ride On (from the Dirty Deeds album), goes "I'm gonna change my evil ways... one of these days."

Till then, I'll do the best I can :-)

On and off, I'll shoot my guitar, and try to find an interesting way to capture it.  For the latest shoot, I put up a red bedsheet as the background, and set up the guitar in front of it.  By overexposing it slightly, I got a nice pink color.  It complements the tan and brown of the guitar beautifully.

For lighting, I started out with two lights.  One for the face of the guitar, and the other to light up the side.  Here's a shot with the two lights.

You'll notice that the inside of the guitar is totally dark.  To get some shadows, and some texture, I placed the main light (for the face) to the left side.  Of course, no light from that strobe got into the guitar.  The light is softboxed, and I placed it so that the background was getting lit.  I actually had the light facing the backgound, making sure that the spill fell on the guitar.

The 2nd light is on the right hand side.  I gridded it (controls the beam of light, making it narrower), so that it was only hitting the side of the guitar.

Overall, a decently lit picture, but the dark circle seemed like something was missing.  So, I got a 3rd light, and made it very low power, and snooted it to make it as narrow as possible - the idea being that it would only go into the hole, and not light up anything else.  I wasn't too successful at it, but got it close enough.  Very little of the light hit the face of the guitar, and where it did, it was powered so low that it didn't cause a real hot spot.

Here's a mostly-unprocessed photo with that setup.  The area being hit by the 2nd light (to the right, for the side) isn't visible in the photo - so this is essentially a 2 light photo
Acoustic Guitar

For the photograph on top, I then post-processed it in Photoshop Elements 9, and applied the "old film" filter. It de-saturates the colors, applies some noise, etc.

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