1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Do basses grow on trees? A rhetorical question...

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by ispider6, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. ispider6


    Jan 30, 2005
    I've recently been wondering whether basses grow on trees because I can't tell you how many times I've seen pictures of basses that were taken outdoor. Is it because people don't want to accidentally include a glimpse of their dirty underwear lying on the floor in their room next to the bass? Is it because they think the sunshine will enhance the flame of the wood? Is it because they are trying to reduce the glare of a flashbulb? I have found (and have seen) that great pictures of basses can be taken indoor, in a bass' natural environment. Good natural light does occur indoor right next to a window and I have found that a good incandescent light will enhance the flame very nicely indeed. Another thing I've noticed is that a great percentage of these "wooden lawn ornament" pictures seem to be taken in Europe and more specifically, the UK. I realize that I may sound ignorant or prejudicial but I honestly don't understand the aesthetic value of a "veranda viol" or an "alfresco contrabasso." So please, if you have it in your heart, do a fellow bassist a favor and leave the role of garden ornament to the gnomes and the reflecting globes. Wow, do I sound cynical or what?
  2. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    It might have to do with the lighting in the room "where the bass is" and so forth. I also think it has to do with that a lot of people that aren't good photographers [or are using cheep or old digital cameras] can usually get a better shot in the sunlight. Sometimes I like it and sometimes not.

    Now this one [​IMG] defiantly works for me :D
  3. I dunno how difiante it is Aaron, but it's a good looking fiver. Yours? What it is?
  4. Have you seen the recent Swimsuit edition of Bass Illustrated ?? There is that incredible picture of an Italian-school 3 string bass posing next to an English garden. And don't miss the centerfold : a 1975 Blonde Kay laying on an Hawaian beach in a very suggestive position. :eek: My favorite is that Eminence EUB that got its neck detached in the middle of a forest. Now I have to assure you I did not buy this magazine for the pictures but for the articles... :p
  5. Crocau, are you saying you actually bought this magazine? I thought nobody bought them but were just "looking after them for a friend..."
  6. As I read it the jokes on you Ken for thinking Doug lacked irony!
  7. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    Man I wish! This is just one of my favorite "outdoor" bass pictures.

    This is my bass

    Funny thing is I just took pictures of my bass outside this weekend in front of a flowering tree, now I'll have to post one when I get the film developed ;)
  8. basses are usually made of wood---wood grows on treess ;)
  9. As a professional photographer and as a photography teacher I am compelled to comment. But first, that is some dynamite 5-er there, Aaron.

    As I was saying, back when color film came in a box, it usually said "daylight film" on the box. Tungsten balanced color film designed for studio lights and fairly close to indoor lighting color was and still is only available to us professionals generally. As far as getting acceptable results with variable indoor lighting (which can also include any of several way off color and different fluorescent sources) with any camera, digital or film, it is just not likely. Add the unpredictability of flash and it's tendency to make it look like you turned off all the lights except the one on your mining helmet, and you can see why inquiring minds will finally figure out what they mean on the box where it says "daylight film" and try shooting things outdoors in the daytime when there is plenty of it.

    And yes, the combination of the mid-morning to mid-afternoon sun and the sky is just what you need to make products look the best with the least effort. I have done a great deal of controlled studio lighting, but it is tough to beat mother nature. It is also tough to beat the instructions that come with most disposable cameras, which invaribly tell you where to place the subject with respect to the sun and where the sun should be with respect to the camera.

    My personal and professional advice to anyone photographing an instrument would be to do it outdoors with some sunlight (to highlight the flaming and varnish) and to use a medium speed (ISO 100) color film. It helps to shoot against a background that is dark or at least not white. If you shoot against white, the bass will usually come out too dark.

    And somewhere in the forest, there is another bass growing in a tree...
  10. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I'm going iwht the dirty underwear hypothesis. last time I tried to post a shot of my DB Ray attacked me for my brother's stray socks in teh picture. ;) But as Long John Silver said above, natural lighting is hard to beat for an easy quality photograph.
  11. ispider6


    Jan 30, 2005
    ...would anyone really care?

    Seriously though, your points are duly noted. The comment about the natural light makes the most sense but it still doesn't account for the fact that a bass next to a shrub or propped up on the lawn looks ridiculous most of the time (previously posted garden photo not withstanding).
  12. It looks great with the creeper vine on the granite wall, though. But not everyone has the perfect background, so it is the lawn, the driveway, the deck, or in front of the garage door.

    Indoors with strong window light, if one used a tripod, turned off any flourescent lights, used a slow shutter speed and small aperature, and there were a few weak incandescents on, that makes a nice photo. Don't forget to put some flowers in the vase on the mantle behind the bass, and make sure some of the ficas tree is visible at the edge of the picture.....Complete with a music stand, bow in quiver, grand piano in the background, bust of Mingus just barely out of focus on the piano.... ;)
  13. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I usually take bass pictures next to window inside. No lawn ornaments here...
  14. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    The lighting in my apartment is piss-poor. At a very particular time of day by the right window, I can get good lighting. But it's a rarity and sometimes I don't feel like waiting around for perfect lighting to photograph a bass. The lighting outside is almost always nice. And a picture without a flash turns out much better than a picture with a flash (at least from a cheap digital camera).

    I'd much rather photograph my instruments indoor, but the apartment I currently live in barely has enough room for me to walk in and turn around. No room for my rig and basses to all be set up.

    But to answer your initial question... yes, all my basses have been home-grown on the trees in the neighborhood park. I just had to bolt up the hardware and install strings and I was good to go. :)

  15. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    That's it--I'm taking my DB around the Bay Area and photographing it next to famous landmarks. DB next to the Coit Tower, walking across the Golden Gate, eating clam chowder on Pier 39, possibly chasing the bad guys through Chinatown. Whaddya think?
  16. Basses in Odd Places :smug: , sounds like a coffee table book.....
  17. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Don't forget the O'Farrell Theater. :smug: