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Old 02-06-2015, 12:44 PM   #1
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Photographing Historics - I need a 101

I've never had any success taking pics of my guitars. They always turn out flat, and with poor color. What cameras are you guys using? Is natural light the best?

Vic, I'm looking at YOU.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:56 PM   #2
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

canon t2i no flash, natural light, fast shutter, and I think I used the landscape mode which tends to bring out better colors than full manual.




This is indoors, with flash-




outside no flash-





forgot what flash setting it may have been full auto since it was at a gig and didn't want to worry about screwing with settings


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Old 02-06-2015, 12:57 PM   #3
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Really nice. I guess I need to buy an actual camera.
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Old 02-06-2015, 01:02 PM   #4
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Natural light is the best . It's not the camera . Great pics can be taken with any 1 .
You have to train you eye how to see and teach yourself though practice , how to put it on film(digital) . Taking lots of pics helps . learning your camera and how to use it helps .

Composing your pic is a MUST . Repeating good pics is not an accident .
Look to see what angles make your guitar look best(in your eye). What shows it's figure best . Then get the camera in your eyes place and shoot .

Practice , practice , practice .

"I guess I need to buy an actual camera "

That would be a start

Even a basic Point and shoot that lets you adjust setting is all you need . $150.00 and your good to go . Try a Cannon .
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Old 02-06-2015, 01:02 PM   #5
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenton70 View Post
Really nice. I guess I need to buy an actual camera.
DSLR is what you want. I don't know a whole lot, but I spent about 1200 for the body and 2 lenses back in 2010. I got pretty decent at getting 'fast' action shots as I would take pictures of the races I would go to. While point and shoot cameras have gotten a bit better, they're still outclassed by a full on DSLR. They give you much more control of settings which play into the picture. I admit I have a better understanding of shutter speeds and what that will get you than aperture settings and F stops.
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Old 02-06-2015, 01:50 PM   #6
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamman View Post
Natural light is the best . It's not the camera . Great pics can be taken with any 1 .
You have to train you eye how to see and teach yourself though practice , how to put it on film(digital) . Taking lots of pics helps . learning your camera and how to use it helps .

Composing your pic is a MUST . Repeating good pics is not an accident .
Look to see what angles make your guitar look best(in your eye). What shows it's figure best . Then get the camera in your eyes place and shoot .

Practice , practice , practice .

"I guess I need to buy an actual camera "

That would be a start

Even a basic Point and shoot that lets you adjust setting is all you need . $150.00 and your good to go . Try a Cannon .
This. You don't need to go beaucoup batballs crazy on an expensive camera. Any basic point and shoot will do. I can still coax pretty pictures out of my little old 1.x megapixel Sony that shoots to 1.44 meg floppies. It's all about the light, composition and your familiarity with the camera.
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:13 PM   #7
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Hopefully Sct13 or Buckwild will chime in here. They take the best photos on this forum, IMO.
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:15 PM   #8
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

natural lighting vs flash is best.... if you can adjust exposure values you can get great lighting effects.

also... this works with other guitars other than historics.... lol
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:24 PM   #9
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenton70 View Post
Really nice. I guess I need to buy an actual camera.

I've gotta learn how to use m!ne... 2yrs and counting


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Old 02-06-2015, 02:34 PM   #10
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Quote:
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DSLR is what you want. I don't know a whole lot, but I spent about 1200 for the body and 2 lenses back in 2010. I got pretty decent at getting 'fast' action shots as I would take pictures of the races I would go to. While point and shoot cameras have gotten a bit better, they're still outclassed by a full on DSLR. They give you much more control of settings which play into the picture. I admit I have a better understanding of shutter speeds and what that will get you than aperture settings and F stops.
I need to get one as I always think they are great- but afraid of shutter speeds and such which I know zilch about- I just use and older digital camera that does the job-
NATURAL lighting with no flash the best to capture tops and lots of trial and error!
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:37 PM   #11
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

I use a d300 which is I suppose old now, but it takes great shots except it overexposes the reds which kinda sucks for bursts! That along with a sb800 and a 17-55mm 2.8 nikkor

Bounce flash is ok, but try using natural light when you can, but not really direct sunlight, dont be afraid to move the guitar around to find the best light that pops the flame and carve.
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:48 PM   #12
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

All dslrs seem to oversaturate the reds, you have to correct it in Photoshop.
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:49 PM   #13
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Thanx for the Kudos guys, its much apreciated.

I am shooting with a Canon 60D and a telephoto lens. But Like Jamman said its practice and getting to know the camera and what all the little numbers mean.

Its also filling the frame with things that will force the eye to move around the frame (Look up RULE of THIRDS)

The best light (I find) is early morning sun, or late afternoon sun (the golden hour) Mid morning sun thru afternoon sun, is the worst time, the sunlight is too direct and the shadows become harsh and difficult to mangage

And a Cloudy Day is the best for neutral lighting, Its even and diffuse with minimal shadow. (unless you WANT shadow)

Learning the camera:
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:00 PM   #14
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Learning the Camera:

There are some things that Every Digital camera has. Lets assume we already know about the lens and batteries and thing to look though.

I want to cover what the numbers mean.

ASA; Or ISO: are the settings used ages ago for film speed.
Film is an emulsion that is spread thinly on a strip of plastic. Piscture if you will a plate of thin potato chips all spread out on the plate, one one side they are painted black and the other side they are white.

If all of the chips black there is no image, or mosaic. untill light strikes one or more of the chips flipping it over making it white. so now there is a pattern that when developed will wash away the unexposed chips and leave onlt the white leaving behind an image. This image is further developed and printed on paper and boom you have a picture.

Adding different shades of grey will give you the black and white image.

Color is layered. emulsions or RED GREEN and BLUE that wash away during the developing to mix the colors for your color image...

TRUST ME I AM GOING SOMEWHERE WITH THIS...you will understand....
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:07 PM   #15
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

ASA..ISO:

The ASA or ISO is a measure of how large the grains (Chips) are and of how fast or how sensative that emulsion is to light. So now with tinier chips you have a better resolution. But a slower reacting film. It takes milliseconds longer to expose that film. A faster film has a lower resolution (larger Grain) but a better reaction to light.

So all that to explain to you that it does not exist in Digital Photograhy....?

But theres a setting ?

OK its there to include that factor into the math that the camera does. and yes they engineered it to work similiar to real film.

SO thats ISO...thats what the setting represents.

Shutter Speed is next.
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:14 PM   #16
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Shutter Speed is just what it means,

In the old film days gone by....the ISO was matched with shutter speed and Apeture setting to work out how the photo will be expected to turn out.

The shutter is a curtain in front of the focal plane of film or digital CMOS Chip (or CCD chip) every camera is similiar in that it has some sort of shutter to first block light, then aloow light in to spill on the focal plane then close to end the exposure. the speed of this is controllable. from 1/2000 of a sec to "bulb" which is open untill shut. If you want to shoot guitars we work with in a range of speeds. and those speeds are governed by the ISO and the Apeture.

Are we still on board? or just bored?

Next Apeture:
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:23 PM   #17
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Apeture:

Most normal sighted persons have two of these, The apeture is the eye of the camera. Most lenses have a curtain or an Iris (leafs) that are alos designed to block light, or to reduce the amount of light streaming into the lens and onto the focal plane.

Numbers had to be assigned to the different "Stops" to help in the prediction of how the image will turn out. There is a lot of detail and optical jargon that goes into lenses that is just confusing, and chases most regular peopleinto a frenzy like "I stoppedit down to F5.6 but the depth of feild wasnt right" and so on ....so dont let all of that scare you. Its not hard

more:
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:31 PM   #18
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Apeture:

the numbers that list apeture settings are simple, the widest open to the most closed....for simplicity sake, the most closed or F/22 which is almost pin hole you need to remmber that most everything you shoot (at the correct shutter speed) will be in focus.....

At Full stop or wide open the lens will be more sensative to focus....BUT will allow a lower light shot. Or less time for the curtain to stay open.

All of the settings in between f/22 and f/2.2 are settings that you would adust WITH ISO, and With Shutter Speed to work out the proper exposure.

are we there yet?

No
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:41 PM   #19
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by AstroCat View Post
natural lighting vs flash is best.... if you can adjust exposure values you can get great lighting effects.

also... this works with other guitars other than historics.... lol
Agreed but I see so many great shots in the Historics forum that I needed an excuse to post this here
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:43 PM   #20
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sct13 View Post
Apeture:

the numbers that list apeture settings are simple, the widest open to the most closed....for simplicity sake, the most closed or F/22 which is almost pin hole you need to remmber that most everything you shoot (at the correct shutter speed) will be in focus.....

At Full stop or wide open the lens will be more sensative to focus....BUT will allow a lower light shot. Or less time for the curtain to stay open.

All of the settings in between f/22 and f/2.2 are settings that you would adust WITH ISO, and With Shutter Speed to work out the proper exposure.

are we there yet?

No
These posts are so helpful. Your pics cause an emotional response to the guitar. I want to ship my guitars to you to photograph if I'm going to sell
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:43 PM   #21
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Putting all this mumbo jumbo together is easy.

ISO ranges from 60 (slow) to 3600 (grainy and fast) and nowadays I guess there are digital parameters that are even faster.

So to answer your initial question. set camera to manual.

In a Room with cloudy day light coming in, set your ISO to 400, Set your apeture as high as it will let you. Some lenses f/4.5 (if you have a f/2.2 you spent a lot on that lens).

Set your shutter to 1/125, Aim, Focus, STOP BREATHING, Squeeze Trigger, and view the image.

Is it too dark? Is it too light? is it in focus?

So what ever came out, if its unacceptable, adjust ONE parameter whether ISO (the easyest) or Shutter speed. Prepare the shot, and fire. did it change? if so better? if not. Change another parameter and hit it again. observe results.

This is called bracketing, All photographers have done it or will do it. You just dont see the failed images.

this is how you practice with most cameras.

I am ready for your questions....
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:45 PM   #22
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenton70 View Post
These posts are so helpful. Your pics cause an emotional response to the guitar. I want to ship my guitars to you to photograph if I'm going to sell
an emotional response is what you should be after....

And thank you

Thats is quite a compliment....really...

wow...

And yes Ship them over...I'll do it for free.

after I get to play em.
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:46 PM   #23
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

So, the iphone isn't helping my cause?
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:55 PM   #24
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Framing is something that also takes a little practice.

Split the frame into three parts, make the observers eye do something to move across the picture, you have to lead the eye across the image.

Diagonal, from bottom left to upper right is the idea, (or whatever direction) but you want the eye to be led, you dont want a search or difficult patterns,. keep them simple.

Depth is also important.

Yes images taken with some red sensative CMOS chips need to be processed in photoshop or other editor.

The point is you must practice with the camera you have.

the outline I gave is just a quick overview of the parts and what they mean. Because thats the part that freaks everybody out.

I shot with film for many years, I did weddings and events..... Protraits and just whatever...it takes getting to know your camera.

dont be afraid to take the shot, just shoot. So what if you Fk it up....do it again till it gets better. If your frustrated, ask someone.
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:58 PM   #25
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Quote:
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So, the iphone isn't helping my cause?

I have seen some great Iphone stuff.

But I am sure its limited as far as creative work, which is what I do.

If your after creative stuff, it might be time to move to a camera that allows those settings to be manipulated.

Some (many) point and shoot cameras take all that away for marketing
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:16 PM   #26
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Quote:
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All dslrs seem to oversaturate the reds, you have to correct it in Photoshop.
That will be because you are blowing-out the red channel. Check your histogram for exposure.

Overcast days are best (God's own softbox), for colour saturation and keeping contrast under control, but before you start shooting choose your background carefully. Nothing distracts the eye better than some extraneous information that is not related to the subject.

Specialising in one subject will always pay dividends, and the more you photograph guitars - and be critical of your results - the better the pictures you will produce.

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Old 02-06-2015, 04:19 PM   #27
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

You can use flash, but for most things I prefer natural lighting.

Flashes are not made well any longer and for camera companies...they just want to seel crap to the masses. and most folks could care less about a picture.

And the easier it is to fire and forget the better. so if you want to get into some creative "stunning" work some choices sould be made. and the first one is

Do I WANT to learn this camera?

Then go from there.
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:31 PM   #28
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Tips

1 - never take it under direct midday sun.
2 - don't fire flash directly at it
3 - pay attention to background/clutter

This is just my living room, with flash and a combination of window natural light.



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Old 02-06-2015, 04:40 PM   #29
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

Lots of variables when shooting guitars but here are a few top of mind observations.

Direct sunlight can get you some great results with regards to flame poppin. But you need to be careful to not blow out the shot due to the intensity of light. When the sun is dead center overhead in the middle of the day it's not great in my experience. Also, it helps to shoot direct sun coming in from a window cause I've found that provides a nice little filter

Direct light examples using a window.




Direct light no Window



Anyone who tells you that flash photos aren't that good is just being ignorant. That being said I'm not a fan of direct flash...I like to use bounce flash. I take an external flash point it off the ceiling or surface so it difusses the flash.




A few more thoughts...you don't need even a DSLR to take nice shots. You just need to understand how to use a camera. Which means balancing light between ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, exposure etc... a shot with a F stop of 1.8 will be fast and let in a lot of light, but it will also limit your focus. Conversely it lends to some rad artsy type shots.

Regarding colors. Lemonburst is super hard to capture, they tend to lean towards amber and orange because...RED is a fugitive ****ing color in the digital space. It always takes over and presents itself as way hotter than in real life.

Have fun with it, take your time and just be thankful we are living in the age of digital...where the results are instantaneous.
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:59 PM   #30
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re: Photographing Historics - I need a 101

The four best photographers we have on MLPF (IMHO) are Frank Pine, Joe Buckwild, Vic (Sct13) & Charlie Daughtry. Check Charlie's site out & look at the pics the other guys have taken.

CharlesDaughtry : Guitars

Also, as Jeff (Jamman) says you have to put some thought in to composing the pic.

I try to find something interesting as a background & then I walk around the Guitar until I can see what I think is potentially a great photograph.

Don't stand in one place with a Telephoto zooming in and out...........move around.

As a matter of fact the use of Telephoto's vs. a Prime Lens has probably dumbed down people's ability to compose a great photograph.

I didn't mention one other Member here, his name is Esse & he's really your man (from memory flamingtop on MLPF?). Esse is a professional photographer in Manila, great guy, great photographer & more than happy to give tips.

He was the one that reminded me about the simplistic beauty & power of a Prime Lens.

Here is an example of some of his work, look at how he composed the pic.



Good luck & have fun, with Digital you can take heaps of snaps till you find the right one. Also try to learn to take pics without relying on Photoshop (except for maybe color correction, as Vic pointed out to me ages ago the Reds are very hard to get right).
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