The Beauty of Guitars

The beauty of guitars is something that has always captivated me. I love the fretboards. The intricate mechanical workings of bridges. How electric pickups look against wood. Even simple things like guitar strings wound around tuning posts. This article shares a selection of handheld macro photographs that attempt to capture the beauty of guitars. One thing is certain… my camera does these instruments far more justice, than does my ability to play them!

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus OMD-E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/3.5, 1/200, ISO-5000, subject distance 290 mm, handheld focus stacking used, out-of-camera jpeg adjusted in post

The intersection of various body parts, inlaid details, frets and strings, show the complex nature of guitar construction.

Olympus OMD-E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/3.5, 1/200, ISO-1000, subject distance 275 mm, handheld focus stacking used, out-of-camera jpeg adjusted in post

The necks on some guitars are quite utilitarian in appearance with only position markers on the fretboard. Others have simple but elegant inlaid details.

Olympus OMD-E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/5, 1/50, ISO-1250, subject distance 610 mm, handheld focus stacking used, out-of-camera jpeg adjusted in post

The beauty of guitars can extend to very complex inlaid designs that run up the entire neck. In cases such as these, position markers give way to a bold graphic statement.

Olympus OMD-E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/3.5, 1/50, ISO-4000, subject distance 320 mm, handheld focus stacking used, out-of-camera jpeg adjusted in post

The bridge on a guitar reveals an array of springs and adjustment screws. The age of my instruments is visible in all of my photographs.

Olympus OMD-E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/5, 1/50, ISO-6400, subject distance 260 mm, handheld focus stacking used, out-of-camera jpeg adjusted in post

Electric guitars add pickups to the visual mix. To me, these add to the beauty of guitars.

Olympus OMD-E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/2.8, 1/50, ISO-1000, subject distance 565 mm, handheld focus stacking used, out-of-camera jpeg adjusted in post

I appreciate the craftsmanship of fine details that can be seen along the edges of pickguards and the body.

Olympus OMD-E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/5, 1/50, ISO-2500, subject distance 505 mm, handheld focus stacking used, out-of-camera jpeg adjusted in post

The upper bout of a guitar is where a number of elements come together. This area of an instrument often provides some wonderful photographic opportunities.

Olympus OMD-E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/5, 1/50, ISO-3200, subject distance 580 mm, handheld focus stacking used, out-of-camera jpeg adjusted in post

Changing my shooting angle helped to incorporate some gentle, curving body lines.

Olympus OMD-E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/2.8, 1/50, ISO-640, subject distance 480 mm, handheld focus stacking used, out-of-camera jpeg adjusted in post

When photographing the beauty of guitars it is important to move the instruments around. This allows for the capture of a wider variety of angles. In addition, available light can be better utilized. It also enables more comfortable camera positions when shooting handheld.

Olympus OMD-E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/2.8, 1/50, ISO-500, subject distance 300 mm, handheld focus stacking used, out-of-camera jpeg adjusted in post

The beauty of guitars can be seen in small details like tuning pegs. Complimentary light can add some drama and subject separation.

Olympus OMD-E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/3.5, 1/200, ISO-2000, subject distance 245 mm, handheld focus stacking used, out-of-camera jpeg adjusted in post

Even a single steel guitar string wrapped around a tuning post can generate an interesting photograph.

Technical Note:
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from out-of-camera jpegs produced by the in-camera focus stacking function of the Olympus OM-D E-M1X. All images were adjusted in post.

Olympus OMD-E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/5, 1/50, ISO-4000, subject distance 250 mm, handheld focus stacking used, out-of-camera jpeg adjusted in post

How you can help keep this site advertising free
My intent is to keep this photography blog advertising free. If you enjoyed this article and/or my website and would like to support my work, you can purchase an eBook, or make a modest $10 donation through PayPal. Both are most appreciated. You can use the Donate button below. Larger donations can be made to tom@tomstirr.com through PayPal.

As a reminder to our Canadian readers, you can get a special 5% discount when ordering Tamron or Rokinon lenses and other products directly from the Amplis Store.

Word of mouth is the best form of endorsement. If you like our website please let your friends and associates know about our work. Linking to this site or to specific articles is allowed with proper acknowledgement. Reproducing articles, or any of the images contained in them, on another website or in any social media posting is a Copyright infringement.

Article and images are Copyright 2020 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. If you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use. Posting comments on offending websites and calling out individuals who steal intellectual property is always appreciated!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *