Studio Violin

I recently had my violin maintained at the local violin maker shop, and when I picked it up I was startled by how pretty she was - varnished, polished, cleaned. She's about 150 years old, so I think she deserved a little maintenance. I played a little, but then I couldn't resist the urge to take some photos. I put up a single light source - a flash shooting through a white umbrella -, a black backdrop, and some styrofoam to shield the backdrop from the light source. Then, the scary part - suspending my violin with a thin, black thread from a stand. Removing this thread would later be the only post-processing in Lightroom.

First, I started with some traditional shots that served mainly to document the instrument. Front, back, side, with nice, saturated lighting and mild shadows - nothing dramatic - trying to prevent stark reflections.

Once that was done, on to the more interesting part. When you play the violin, you have a certain perspective, watching over the bridge to your fingers on the fingerboard. I tried to capture this in the following photo. (Oh, and of course I added a little drama by adding some vignette).

FInally, the flying violin, hovering in the air. How she's doing that? I have no idea. (Well, actually I do know ... I was holding her scroll in my left hand, and the camera in my right hand ...) What I do know is that it's important to always have the f-holes and the bridge in focus. They're like her eyes and nose.

If you're interested in technical details - these shots were made with a Nikon D300, a Nikkor AF-D 60/2.8 Macro lens, at f=1/5.6.