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Photographing Coloured Bass Strings

Posted by Andrew Rivers at

I recently wrote a blog post "Deep Dive on Aurora Bass Guitar Strings", and I thought I'd write a post on the process we went through at Fretfunk HQ to come up with the photos.  We've been working with Aurora for a couple of years now, and we love their coloured bass guitar strings (click here to view the product), and I'd been dying to spend some time taking some close-ups of the strings.

Here's the low-down of what I did to set up the shoot: 


Camera:  I use my Canon DSLR (EOS 70D) for almost all of my product photographs, which is a good all-round camera.  

Lens:  For the strings you need to get up close though, so I used a macro lens - a Canon Macro EF-S 60mm.  This gives really good magnification, and you can go really close up to get the detail.

Tripod:  You need to use a tripod for close-ups, because the slightest camera shake.  I use a sturdy old Manfrotto tripod that I bought on Ebay.

Remote:  To avoid camera shake I also use a remote, to prevent button presses shaking the camera.


Strings are bright and shiny, so it's good to have a black background to make the strings show up in all their colourful glory.  We have a black sheet we use as a tablecloth when we display products at guitar shows, and this made an ideal background for the string photos.

It's also best to get the strings lifted off the background to take advantage of the depth of field, so I actually used a cardboard box and dangled the strings over the end.


When you're really close up to the subject the focus is critical to get right.  You've got to use manual focus to get the sharpness required, but also it's useful to zoom in on the display to see the focus clearly.  Have a look at this back-of-the-camera shot that shows just how sharp you can get the focus:

Back of the camera shot showing a close-up of a green bass guitar string.


Here are some of the photos that came out of the photo shoot.  First, here's a picture of a red bass guitar string showing the round winding.

Close-up of red coloured bass guitar strings showing the round winding.

Here's a close-up of the end of a green bass guitar string showing the flat ends on the bass strings.

Green bass guitar string showing flat ends.

Here's a similar close-up, this time showing a gold bass guitar string:

Close-up of the end of a gold bass guitar string.

And some comparisons of strings showing green, gold and blue:

Close-up of gold, blue and green bass guitar strings.


We love the coloured bass guitar strings from Aurora, and we think they make great pictures.  I hope you liked these photos, and if you'd like to leave some feedback or comments we'd love to hear from you.

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