How to Take Pictures of Guitars

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A skilled photographer can take a photograph of an ordinary guitar and turn it into something special. With the right lighting, creative use of angles and a good digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, you can take photographs of guitars worthy of gracing CD covers or the pages of a music magazine.

Things You'll Need

  • DSLR camera
  • Macro lens
  • Filter (cool or hot color)
  • Lighting
  • Set the scene for your photograph. Choose a background with a solid color and place the guitar you're photographing in front of it. The solid background will keep the guitar as the central subject. The color you choose should compliment the color of the guitar, but if you plan to make your shots in black and white, the color of the background won't be as essential to the shot.

  • Experiment with a couple of angles. Set the guitar on a guitar stand with natural light coming in from a window. Polish any chrome or metal on the guitar for a high shine, then take photographs standing above the guitar, capturing it at a downward angle. Use a flash to help enhance the reflection off the polished chrome.

  • Kneel in front of the guitar and photograph it from the front, getting close enough to see the texture of the strings. Use a macro lens -- often used for capturing water drops on leaves -- to accomplish this detail.

  • Place the guitar on a table surrounded by plenty of natural lighting. If you don't have natural lighting available, use a bright white light or a soft yellow one, depending upon the effect you want. Use a flash in these situations as well. Take photos of the guitar on its back with an angle running down the neck to the body, then from the body to the neck. Take this same image using a cool blue filter and a warm red or orange filter for varying effects.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always think of the guitar as a curvy female or a well-muscled male. Go for a sensuous presentation, letting the shadows in your image highlight the shape and design of the guitar you're photographing.

References

  • Photo Credit S Dunn/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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