Had the pleasure of spending several hours yesterday lighting, photographing and retouching suspending monofilament line from this lovely hand-crafted classical guitar by local luthier John Decker and his latest enterprise guitarmasterworks. As soon as I unlocked it's protective case, I could see that this superbly crafted instrument would be a challenge with it's rich Ziricote sides hand-polished to a mirror-like finish. A large 6ft. softbox placed left-front and feathered to barely rake across the spruce top provided the main light. Large black cutters were used to prevent spill from the softbox onto the black paper sweep. An Arri 350W Tungsten Focusing Fresnel provided the background light while another 650W Fresnel place behind and to the left of the guitar provided just enough of a rim light to give the guitar a little separation from the dark background. A third Fresnel, this time a 2K was placed high, behind & to the right of the guitar, lighting the neck, headstock and tuning pegs. Several sheets of white foamcore to the right side of the body provided fill and a relatively clean reflection to the dark wood grain of the body. Monofilament line suspended from an overhead boom and carefully looped thru the top set of tuning pegs kept the guitar upright, it's base resting on a small piece of black velvet. The monofilament line was later removed from the final images using Photoshop.
Afterwards, I got to tune up this fine guitar and take it for a test drive... it plays and sounds just as good as it looks, with deep, resonate bass-tones.
The opportunity to work meticulously and meditatively in the still relatively new studio on this still-life was a welcome break to the activity of the last month... activity comprised mostly of shooting kids - kids in winter blizzards, kids flying kites in remote areas of the island, kids running on beach paths, kids learning about dance & theater, kids in art classes... kids, kids & more kids.
Friday, we're off to Wailea to spend a day shooting lifestyle & architectural images for the Tommy Bahama Company, saturday & sunday it's off the the Big Island again to shoot more TB. Next week, it's editorial portraits of a leading local fashion designer, lifestyle shoots for another national resort company - a project we are currently in the middle of casting.
After all of that, I'll be busy editing & retouching right up until Christmas Eve, that evening to be spent in the customary heavy metal fashion Brit Guitar-God mate & crew.
I also just realized that Christmas Day, this year, falls on Tuesday, meaning I will spend four hours that morning flogging Christmas music on the airwaves at 91.5 FM Manao Radio. To that end, I've been searching the intertubes for some of the newest, hippest, indie carols I can find... so far, I've turned up some real treasures. Tune in if you can from 6am-10am Central Pacific Time. You can get the live streaming anywhere in the world by clicking HERE.