Good Pictures

Discussion in 'Art, Media & Photography' started by michblanch, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. michblanch

    michblanch SS.org Regular

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    Some of you guys seem to take excellent pictures of your gear.
    Could you possibly share some of your tricks?

    Soft Lighting, no flash, Etc.....
     
  2. gunshow86de

    gunshow86de Beef Jerky Time Contributor

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    All I know is outdoors/natural light pictures always turn out way better, even if your camera isn't that great.
     
  3. MoshJosh

    MoshJosh SS.org Regular

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    I would't say I take excellent pictures but I would say I've snapped a few good ones. Outdoor/natural light photos generally turn out the best. I don't really have a guitar stand for outdoor pics so I generally stick to taking photos in whichever room has the most light at the time (though this method often ends with boring backgrounds i.e. my couch). I try to avoid using my flash when possible, and I generally favor low aperture settings for those artsy out of focus look ;), at least for close ups, not as ideal for full shots of the guitar in my experience. . .
     
  4. Philligan

    Philligan The White-Knuckler Contributor

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    What are you using for a camera?

    If it's something like your phone, try and either get outside, but not in direct sunlight, or shoot near an open window. An open window is great, because it gets natural light, but it's not direct, so it doesn't look as harsh. Getting a nice looking photo is probably 90% lighting, regardless of what camera you're using. Phones and point & shoot cameras are physically limited in the quality of photos they can take, in the sense that they require more specific lighting (more expensive cameras hold up way better in darker conditions). But if you can get the lighting decent, then you can make it hard to tell what kind of camera you shot with.

    The trick with the phone is to learn a few nice looking angles, and fill the shot with your guitar (unless you want background stuff in the shot), so you get lots of detail when you look up close, and it looks nice and sharp. Make sure you hold your phone steady, and mess around with where the phone's focusing, because it uses that to choose the photo brightness, too. If you have a black guitar and you focus right in the middle of it, it'll try to brighten that part up to "normal" and make everything else too bright. If you focus on the window, it'll darken that to "normal" and make everything else too dark. So mess around with where the phone is focusing until the photo looks natural.

    After you have your lighting figured out and have decided how to frame the guitar in the picture, it'll probably look great as is, but a little editing never hurt. You can usually just use the generic "enhance" option on your phone, or download a free app like Snapseed, which is really easy to get a feel for. All I really do for stuff like that is push the saturation a little bit to make it look more vibrant, brighten up the shadows to show some extra detail where the photo is darker, and then add a little bit of vignetting to darken the corners, which makes the subject pop a bit more. (The trick is add enough vignetting to make the centre pop more, but not so much that it's obvious - you'll see in the photos I post).

    Here's a picture of the layout, and where I've got my guitar in relation to the window. Having the lighting come from the side casts some shadows to give the photo a bit more depth, but angling the guitar so it slightly faces the light makes sure it's still lit enough that you can see everything. These were shot with my iPhone.

    [​IMG]Photo 2015-03-01-2 by philbabbey, on Flickr

    Then I decided what type of shot I wanted, and made sure that shot filled the frame (within reason). If you shoot wider and crop the photo after, you're losing out on detail.

    [​IMG]Photo 2015-03-01-4 by philbabbey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Photo 2015-03-01-6 by philbabbey, on Flickr

    Then I used Snapseed to add a bit of saturation, brighten up the shadows a bit, and add the vignetting to make the guitar stand out.

    [​IMG]Photo 2015-03-01-3 by philbabbey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Photo 2015-03-01-5 by philbabbey, on Flickr
     
  5. michblanch

    michblanch SS.org Regular

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    Thank you Philligan.
    The pictures you took capture the wood grain great.
     
  6. Tang

    Tang Master of Chihuahuas

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    I don't take many pics of my gear, but I agree with the others natural light is best. If you have a large enough window in your house setting up the guitar somewhere nearby works pretty damn well.

    The last time I did this I took the pictures outside, and that also works great. Ideally you want to wait around til around sunset as this gives the highest (imo) quality of light.

    This one was shot with light through a large window:

    [​IMG]rivera and ibanez by nrrfed, on Flickr

    and this one was shot about an hour away from sunset.. as you can see the light is awesome and really brings the shot to life.

    [​IMG]Artcore Sun #2. by nrrfed, on Flickr
     

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