Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vintage Palm Trees - Day 10 of 365

Vintage Palm Trees (10 of 365)

This is a beautiful 1935 National Guitar (Style O). It was once owned by a country musician by the name of Smilin' Max Henderson, who is a member of the Michigan Music Hall of Fame. I've played several of these old 1930's Style O's and, while they aren't my favorite National to play -- they have brass bodies, I prefer steel or german silver -- they are really nice to look at with the palm tree scene in the chrome plating. You can see the brass starting to show through on the underside of the strings from it's 75 years of playing. I really love these old Nationals.

I've been trying to get a good picture of the guitar since I got access to it last week, but the chrome plated brass body has a mirror-like finish and it is nearly impossible to photograph well. I'm not entirely happy with this shot, but it is close to what I'm looking for. To get this, I put the guitar on a stand in a white room and shot my SB-600 flash at a wall in front of the guitar so the wall would act as one big light source (so you don't see the reflection of the light source in the guitar). I shot a second SB-600 at the wall behind the guitar to make the background appear white as well. The flashes were fired remotely with the Nikon D90's CLS system. Next time I try to do one of these, I'm going to hang it from the ceiling so I don't have the stand showing. With a mirror finish, you can't photoshop out the stand because you will still have it in the reflections on the body of the guitar.

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