Banjo and Guitars

I started to worry that my lighting bag should not be left in the trunk of the car during the summer, so I hauled it into my home office.  Well, I don’t really have a place to stash the bag, so I took out the stands and set them up. Hmmm. Well, as long as the stands are up, I may as well put the flashes and umbrellas on them, just in case. Hmmm. I’m feeling a little out of practice; maybe I should photograph something. What’s in the room?

I like the contrast ratio on the curves of the hat, but I would have liked to boost the gleam on the left edge of the guitar a bit.

The hat is made by Akubra in Australia. It’s their Banjo Paterson model, named after the author of The Man From Snowy River. The guitars are my 1981-ish Fender Stratocaster and my mid-nineties G&L ASAT Classic. My goal was to see how quickly and easily I could get plain yet dimensional lighting. I put the SB800/umbrella to my right and the SB600/umbrella to my left. The light on the right was usually slightly above the hat and angled down, whereas the light on the left was pretty much even with or below the hat. Camera and flashes on manual, and I just adjusted the flash power until the exposures were acceptable.

Color correcting for the guitars is much easier than color correcting for the hat, because the hat's felt is complex. It changes color in different types and angles of light.

One troubling element was a hotspot on the blue guitar’s pickguard caused by the trigger flash on the camera (the pop-up flash on the camera has to fire to trigger the external flashes. Technically, it does not emit enough light to affect exposure, but it is visible, and will definitely reflect in a model’s eyes or a window or a guitar pickguard). I’m not about to invest in radio transmitters for remote flash triggers, so I’ll probably experiment with shooting angles to solve this problem in the future.

Using the blue filter on my black and white conversion turns the red/orange guitar black. Say that twelve times fast.

1 Comment

Filed under Lighting

One response to “Banjo and Guitars

  1. myrna

    ah hah … return of the hats!

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