For the guitar comparison and gear advertisements I borrowed equipment from people I knew. I originally set up for the guitar shoot which it stood on a stand but wasn’t happy with this so I changed it. I decided that I would shoot the amplifier first. I set up with one studio flash shooting through diffuser paper and I shot with the camera off the tripod to give me more freedom with angles and framing. This was my lighting set up:
I then spun the amp around to get a shot of the valves inside. I used a combination of a flash and a long exposure to capture this. I was struggling to see the detail on the far inside corner so I used white card to bounce some light into this area and increased my exposure time. Next I used a table top set up for the strings, guitars and a bass. I wanted a simple straight above shot of the strings as I was planning on doing a lot of post processing to create the ad for them. I moved on to the guitar shoots where I angled the light to complement the curves of the guitar and shot from various angles. I was getting some harsh shadows on some images to I used a white card to reflect back onto the shadows so soften them. Below are my contact sheets from these shoots.
I decided to use 491 and 524 as and ad for Mesa/Boogie.
These are the images before editing.
For image 524 I adjusted the exposure and lighting settings and increased the clarity. I also used the heal tool to remove a lot of the wear marks. I decided the white amp was distracting so using the masking brush and adjusting the exposure I changed it to black.
I decided to leave this image looking very dark as I want the valves to really stand out in the picture. I left the edit at this stage to move into photoshop to complete the ad. I moved on to edit image 491 as I will be using both shots for this ad.
For image 491 I adjusted the crop angle, Increased the clarity and adjusted the lighting settings.I also edited the white amp that was showing to be black.
I then moved the image over to photoshop to combine with image 524 for the ad. I set the image size to the correct size for my page. Next placed both images on the page and resized my images to fit. I used a soft eraser tool on the join line to blent the images together. Finally I added the mesa logo to create the ad.
I chose images 547,554,558, 577, 591, 602 and 616 for the guitar reviews and bass advert. As I used the same lighting for these images I edited one and then copied the settings over to the others. I then healed any gaps in the backdrop and made minor adjustments to suit each image. I then moved them to photoshop to form into pages for my magazine.
Finally I chose image 533 for the guitar string ad. I made minor adjustment in Lightroom then moved the image to photoshop for manipulation and sizing. This is because i was drawing inspiration from another ad for string and I knew I would be doing a lot of post processing. I plan to make the image look as though there are sound waves coming from the string packet and it has caused cracks on the ground. This is the image before editing.
I adjusted the crop angle so the packet was straight. I then increased the exposure, contrast and clarity slightly along with adjusting the blacks to be darker. I adjusted the temperature and tint so that the packet colour was closer to that of the packet in real life. Next I used the healing brush to remove some of the creases in the packet and increased the background exposure as I wanted this to be grey to look more like concrete or tarmac.
I moved the image over to photoshop at this stage to size it and start adding special effects. I made some adjustments to some lightning shaped brushes I had.
I made these adjustments to a few different lightning shaped brushed and saved them as new brush presets. I then painted in black with the brushes on a new layer and set the layer to be embossed. This creates the effect of cracks. I erased any that wen over the top of the packet and used an opaque brush to partially erase any in a dark shadow so they blend well in the image.
Next I created a sound wave effect. To do this I duplicated my layers and merge the copies together then marked out the area for my sound wave using the elliptical marquee tool. I then created a gradient that alternated between black and transparent.
I made this a round gradient and had it start at the centre of my selection.
Next used the zigzag distortion and applied strong ripples. I made sure the number of ripples matched the amount of lighter areas in my selection.
This was the result.
I felt this looked too harsh so I removed this effect and repeated the process but this time with the gradient set to 30% opacity. I then erased the effect from the packet.
I was much happier with this effect so I added a tagline and the logo for the string manufacturer applying a drop shadow to make the writing sit better on the image. Below is my finished advert.