Back Modifications (2)
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three guitars

By bdanjou
This a photo I took during a concert break on our stage. I would like to hear first impressions. What works well for the person critiqueing and what he/she might suggest for improvements.

Tags: Close-up and macro General and low light

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2015 United Kingdom
26 May 2012 8:40PM
The shapes of the guitars make a fine subject for photography, Bob.
Since you shot this during a break, I am assuming that it wasn't set up.
It looks like you were governed by the available light, which appears to be coming from the top left, and illuminating the red guitar, but not the outer two. You chose a high ISO, and this has given the image a lot of noise/grain. You also increased the exposure compensation, but I cannot understand why you didn't use flash in this low light situation.
The biggest problem is that the two outside guitars are so much darker than the one in the middle, and the viewer's eye goes straight to the red one, leaving the others "in the dark" so to speak.
I don't see much wrong with the composition. except that it seems a shame that you have included so much of the floor and so little of the tops of the guitars.
In my modification I straightened the image (see the panels at the back), cropped a touch, excluding some of that floor, then used the shadows/highlights tool to darken the middle guitar and lighten the other two. Unfortunately, the brightening does show the grain even more and, although I ran noise removal over it, I didn't want to go too far and degrade the image detail. I then used fill flash to get a bit more light on the instruments.
I also cloned out a few distractions from the background.

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tonyguitar 6 62 37 Canada
26 May 2012 9:27PM
Pamela has improved things on a very good image to start with. Rather than flash, I prefer small floods on shiny guitars for highlights and no surprises. For a grab shot on a performing stage. You did very well.

I'm going to set up a shot like this. Thanks so much for the inspiring idea. Was going to get around to it...someday. TG
27 May 2012 6:50AM
Hi Pamela,

To give a little more background about the guitars. There was short break between band #1 and #2. I was off to the side of the stage when I noticed the guitars under the stage light. I was shooting at a high ISO speed for the first concert. Flashes can be very annoying during a concert so I was challenging myself to use existing light. I revised my copy of the photo but EZ has a restrictions for the number you an upload. I will try again tomrrow.
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3877 Canada
27 May 2012 7:41PM
If you have another opportunity, shoot one guitar in portrait format.

tonyguitar 6 62 37 Canada
27 May 2012 8:19PM
Wow! I thought, easy, I'll set something up and get a good 3 guitar image. Well, not so easy to do as I first thought.
Guitars are difficult subjects. The soundhole area and the keys block, [ two points of interest], are far apart. This project is going to take some thought, maybe a little, [shudder], work.
I have new respect for your very appealing image now. TG
tonyguitar 6 62 37 Canada
2 Jun 2012 4:19PM
Here is my three guitar attempt as promised. Original thinkers can do better, no doubt.
Guitars would make a good challenge. Not that easy to do. TG
2 Jun 2012 5:56PM
Hi Tony,

Very nice work. I like the setup. I'm glad I was able to get your creative juices flowing. Smile the only minor change for slightly different perspective would be to have the middle guitar come foward by a couple inches suggesting it's the "lead" guitar. Other than that, the lighting and background all create for an interesting look at someone's studio or bedroom.
tonyguitar 6 62 37 Canada
2 Jun 2012 10:02PM
This is fun to do and I thank you for it. Those who have no guitar at home could ask permission to do photos at a music shop or watch for guitars at live shows as you have.

Looking through some guitar magazines and the pros do nice work but nothing really creative so far. Guitar images...not easy. Your suggestion is well taken and there has to be more ways to present the guitar. TG

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