The Photography Corner

Same (unsolicited) opinion here - should have gone with a dark background for a bright foreground, and also painted the clamp to match the background and not the instrument. The sax itself looks great.

@John_E, the quality of light is quite good. The diffusion plays nicely on the sax’s surface. That said, I would take down the exposure a half-stop in post-production.

(Note: This assumes the photo was shot in RAW format, and the exposure can be losslessly adjusted, preferably in Adobe Lightroom. If it was shot compressed, as most cameras save JPG or similar file, this isn’t a very viable option.)

Regarding the background, the white limbo effect does a good job of reflecting your light sources, which helps wrap many subjects, but the pale silver of the sax body pretty much begs for a stronger background/base contrast.

As I mentioned in another post, a darker neutral background color would make this bad boy pop. Black, dark blue, medium-to-dark gray would look great.

Also, a cloth base, such as velvet or the like, would help ground the sax and lend texture as well as contrast. It would also absorb some light and not bounce more into the sax. You could try any rich color like burgundy, dark blue, or even classic black velvet. All would look great

The choices are relatively limitless, but introducing background and base material contrast would be my first go-tos. Ideally, shooting RAW and having access to post-production software is the way to really dial in the whole enchilada.

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Here’s a down and dirty tweak job on your photo. It ain’t perfect, but I think it gets the point across.

I cut the sax out of the original white background, brought the gamma down a bit, brought up the shadow detail, did some sharpening, and threw it over a dark blue background. The sax struts its stuff now.


ya I have gotten to that, thank you!
I was trying really really hard to make a sax ‘floating’ on a white background, but agree its just too hard to do with the silver saxes. I was thinking black or the speckled grey to black but I am kina digging @MikeC’s blue - no one in the sax world uses it, so maybe I can make it mine. Maybe a ‘midnight’ or dark blue.

This one is a clear poly, and nice in situ as it kinda dissapears when you look at the sax, but, stands out when you are trying to photograph it, lol.
I do have a rig set up with fishing line and weights that I also use.
It makes me a bit nervous, as some of these horns are $$$$$.
The one in the shot is an F Mezzo Soprano, 1/2 step above alto.
Made only 1 year due to the great depression hitting.


Thanks all!!!

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Wow a post production challenge. A chrome sax with a gold bell on a white white background sitting on a white cloth.

@John_E Here is a more fitting background I did for your sax picture IMHO.


Silver! Lol

Ya I was going for a certain look that a lot of others use, but decided the look isn’t great. Like here:

I should have known that since I played Cornet and E flat horn in a brass band for 15+ years.
All of of our instruments were Boosey and Hawkes.

speaking of photography… time to make:


Been there, did that. A whole lot.

Glad not to be there now.:rofl:


Awesome… what a fun thing to do, even though a tiny bit nerve-wrecking when handling the film, and also not so cool with all the chemicals… but still, tons of fun :smile:

It’s been so long for me… don’t even recognize that film anymore; but looks like a “serious” format :wink:


It’s medium format film. Did a ton of that back in the day.


a quick result of the above darkroom stuff: a quick multiple exposure test using Ilford HP5+ medium format film and a Holga camera — i create images like this by doing 100+ exposures on a single roll of film while cranking the film forward only slightly between exposures. this was developed at home (see my previous post) and did a “dirty capture” using a white computer screen and my phone, inverted and adjusted digitally.

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