Taking Audio Gear Pictures - Cameras, Tricks & Techniques


I’ll have to mess with that tonight, I have a couple of different pictures I took of the Elegia in this setting that I didn’t have time to mess with. We had a couple of guests over for brunch and I just did a quick edit with that picture. Looking forward to trying all the tips from @Torq and @antdroid. My MacMini is waiting for me at work so Monday evening I’ll set that up, when I get home.


This is one I took with a Violet filter on the lens. I did some post processing in PS but I think this one is nice but the bokeh effect isn’t as good as the first picture.


I prefer the amber filter. Note that the hole pattern on the headphones is more prominent, and that the drink doesn’t look like p*ss when you have a UTI. (gee, now I ruined it for you). :crazy_face:

I would consider going greyscale on the photo, except for the drink, which I would leave natural. Then post it in Music and Drink pairings with a caption, “Just finished the Brandenberg Concerto No. 3, and will soon finish the Balvenie 21 Madiera Cask.”


If you want a blurred background (“bokeh” refers to the quality of the out of focus areas in a shot, not the fact that the background is blurred - which is just “shallow depth of field”), then you need to:

  1. Shoot at the widest possible aperture (lowest f-number)
  2. Be as close to the primary subject as possible
  3. Get some distance between the primary subject and the background

For example, in this shot:

I used a 55mm lens on a full-frame camera, at f/2.8, shot from a distance of 20" (minimum focus distance on that lens), which gives a depth-of-field of about an inch (i.e. roughly a half of an inch in front of, and behind, the primary subject) … outside which everything will be progressively more blurred.

So having everything at least an inch behind the actual IEMs ensures that they are progressively more out of focus, while keeping the IEMS themselves in focus.

With your GX85, and the 20mm f/1.7 lens, you would want to shoot that at 8" (minimum focus distance for that lens), at f/1.7, which would give also you about a 1" depth of field (that’s the shallowest depth of field attainable with that camera/lens combination).

The reason you have to be almost 2-stops wider open is due to the 2x field-of-view crop on Micro Four Thirds cameras. If I opened up my lens for that shot to f/1.8 (it’s maximum aperture), I’d get a depth of field of just under half an inch, but in the case of that shot, you couldn’t get all of the IEMs in focus then, and everything else was too blurred to readily recognize.

Anyway … while you will rapidly get to a point where you’ll simply know what settings are required, a useful tool in the interim if you want blurred backgrounds/foregrounds with a sharp subject is a “depth of field” calculator. There’s an excellent one online, here.


oooh fun thread! I just purchased a Canon SL2 for my self, it should be here on Tuesday and I’ll likely play around and see if I really need to also grab a Nifty Fifty lens for it as well!!! Non the less, I certianly book marked some of the links you guys posted

But I also have to admit the Pixel 2 takes excellent pics!!!



Cell-phone cameras do a nice job in good light - i.e. outdoors … from a photographic perspective indoors is ALWAYS “low light” unless using flash - and not the stupid little LEDs the phones sport for this - or dedicated lighting (never mind what your eyes tell you). But they’re pretty much locked to wide angles, have lots of depth of field due to their very short focal lengths and comparatively tiny, relative, apertures, so shallow depth of field shots - something of a mainstay with “product” shots", either have to be significantly contrived, or rely on software tricks.

The SL2 will help a lot there …

But as with all dedicated cameras, it’s the lenses that determine what you can do. The camera is just features and a sensor. And while the sensor is important, the best sensor in the world can only record what is projected on it - and optically that’s down to the lens and, compositionally, the photographer.

The kit lens, assuming that’s what you’re getting with it, will let you pull off that same shot … (10" minimum focus distance, shot at f/4) … although you’ll have to shoot at 18mm to do it, which will result in needing to crop the shot fairly heavily, with same depth of field limits. If you want shallower depth of field or to avoid cropping, you’ll need an optically faster lens (bigger maximum aperture - or lower f/number).


Thank you! I just redid my office so I’ve got the entire room for audio now. Figured it was time to get a better Camera as well

Mmmmmmmm yea that nifty fifty does f1.8 vs 3.5 or so. So that’s done! Might as well work smarter not harder!

Also with regards to lighting, this maddening contraption is what I’m running with at the moment until I can get some more professional lights

But it’s two 3 2700 Lumen lights with a color temperature of 2800 or so

I’ve also got a very “blue” bulb and a strongly “orange” or warm, can’t quite remember the temperature. But I found having the Blue light at towards the rear has helped reduce noise in the “blue channel” to quote another online user. Either way I use those to help get a more natural color temperature. You can also see the chair I stand on to help adjust the angle too lol

Either way I’m sure once I have the SL2 I’ll find some software packs for it, start dropping stuff into Photoshop and end up where I ultimately want to be without to much fuss. Hardest part will be learning and improving how I use my DSLR and edit my shots! Including improving my lighting


You used to be able to get “photoflood” light bulbs designed for photography. They’re bright and hot, and they don’t last long, but their color is very good. You would probably need to get some proper clamp on fixtures.

You still can - I googled. Bulbs are only a few bucks, but the light fixtures are $30 to about $200 depending on what you want. I liked using them much more than stuff like bounce flash - those umbrellas that have a flash attachment. But then I’ve always been slow an fussy if given the luxury.

Note that the brighter your lighting, the smaller the f stop, so you will have greater depth of field. Some things were easier to control back in the film days. Your fingers learned what to do and a groundglass screen let you see the depth of field. Most decent 35MM cameras let you change the focusing screen to your preference. The default usually had a couple of circles with little prisms in them and a circle of ground glass. Good all-around, but I liked to swap it out for ground glass with a large grid.


Excellent advice, I’ll have to see what I can do!

I run 2 150W bulbs and 1 75W, so I don’t see why I couldn’t drop one of those into existing light fixtures.

Speaking of the Fixtures aside from having the correct rating, 150W max handling, 250 ect… what else should they do?


Photofloods come/came in 250 and 500 watt sizes that fit in a standard A19 base. The 250 looks like a regular bulb, the 500 is a larger bulb. All you really need is the power handling capability. That’s why the fixtures are generally sold.

Most photoflood surrounding fixtures are a bit larger than standard surrounds. These bulbs get hot. There are brighter bulbs for larger sizes, but you won’t need them these days, unless you want to go back to shooting film. Standard film was about ASA 100-125 when I was involved in photography. Fine grain ASA 40-50, and fast film was ASA 400-800. That was black and white. Color ran from ASA 25 to about 125, depending on what you wanted.


So just power handling! Good to know

Truth be told my current 150/100/75W bulbs run very hot in the fixtures I’m using so I suppose I’m used to handling them! I usually cut the power and let them cool for 10-15mins before I handle them!

Still what a find though! Thank you again for sharing this with us


With modern digital cameras you have a lot more latitude here. Even with a brace of 500 watt floods, you’ll generally be able to shoot as wide-open as your composition requires (if shallow-depth-of-field is what you’re going for) as the maximum shutter speeds of many digital cameras go up to 1/16,000th and in some cases 1/32,000th - with a far greater range of immediately accessible ISO-equivalent settings.

And if that’s not enough, that’s what neutral density filters are for (I would avoid the “adjustable” ND filters … most of them are terrible, and the ones that aren’t are expensive).

I do miss ground-glass/split-prism focusing screens for my walk-around photography.

Most digital cameras can be setup to show the actual depth of field constantly, rather than requiring pressing a “DoF Preview” button, and many will indicate the actual near and far points of acceptable sharpness numerically right on the display (classic lenses, of course, showed you that on the barrel). The large, high-resolution screens also make it a bit easier to see the effects of your aperture than the comparatively tiny image in a viewfinder (and especially compared to the comparatively nasty optical viewfinders that entry-level DSLRs tend to be saddled with).


I have to admit, those who’ve said cells phones are good enough that you may not need an entry level DSLR… I have to say I strongly disagree

This is by no means anything amazing, but I’ve had a blast using my 50mm f1.8 lens!!!

Grabbed this today also, lighting wasn’t optimal and color’s noisy but I’m impressed after 5mins


Is that the same one I listened to? I’m curious about what the next iterations will sound like. It is really good for gaming, but music had that too far away sound( sounded great just slightly out of reach)


This shot was using the 7Artisans 25mm f/1.8 manual prime lens for M43 cameras. $65ish dollars!

@mshenay was the one who organized the feedback tour, so I’m assuming its the same one.


Yup it ought to be, I’ll have more info on what comes next for you guys here shortly




I see your gaming headset…and raise you another


I am reading a book that @Torq recommended to me that is helping a lot, with understanding what to do. Called “Understanding Exposure”

Focal Clear - Official Picture Thread

I get where you’re coming from. I does seem like it gets complex real fast if you’ve no understanding of photography like me. Personally point and shoot is good enough for me. But I wholly understand the draw that real photography has. The control you have when composing your own shots shows in the end product. They are so much in the end. Point and shoot only gets you so far.