Topic: photographing reeds

What is the best method for photographing reeds? (like in the beginning of the skinner book)  I'm in the process of indexing some of my good reeds from the past, and I think it would be helpful to have some pictures of the scrape of these reeds.  Thanks!

Mike Millard
Repair Technician and freelance bassoonist
Taylor's Music
West Chester, Pa

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Re: photographing reeds

Those are some good photos. If I were trying to duplicate those, I would definitely want to use the equivalent of a 35mm SLR camera or better (pro quality medium or large format).  A macro or closeup lens is obviously needed. The photos in the Skinner book are taken against a dark neutral background, with light that can be arranged so that it shines down into the reed and can also light from the front, so an ordinary flash won't do. I would also want a tripod so I wouldn't have to hand hold the camera and refocus for every shot.  In order to get everything just right I would experiment with a digital camera to test lighting and exposure so that I wouldn't have to wait for film to come back to see if I was in the ballpark.

Rich Gordley

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Re: photographing reeds

Mike:
I am an amateur photographer and was wondering if you ever had success photographing your reeds.  If you did, would you like to share your pictures?  I don't think you can include them as an attachment here so you would have to have a link to a site where they are uploaded.  Thanks, Kent

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: photographing reeds

Or if you want to e-mail some to me privately, I would like that.  Kent

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: photographing reeds

Here is a link to photos of Authentic Mechler Reeds Circa 1930 owned by Norman Herzberg. I have tested several reeds in this collection. They played well, despite the 70+ years of age. http://www.idrs.org/Mechler/index.htm

Yoshi Ishikawa
Professor of Bassoon, U of Colorado at Boulder
Editor, IDRS OnLine Publications
Administrator, IDRS Forum

Re: photographing reeds

Thanks Yoshi.  Interesting to see.  Here is a link to other player's reeds too.  http://www.idrs.org/Reed/Reeds.html  And then there is the backlit photo of Garfield's reed on the Spring 1982 cover of the IDRS Journal.  Kent

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: photographing reeds

Thanks, but links are not working...I will fix the links.

Yoshi Ishikawa
Professor of Bassoon, U of Colorado at Boulder
Editor, IDRS OnLine Publications
Administrator, IDRS Forum

Re: photographing reeds

I have now seen pictures in other posts on this forum so I suppose you can embed a picture or two if you would like.  Kent

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

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Re: photographing reeds

Hello M. Millard (et al) I have had good success in photographing my bassoon reeds using a Pentax IST DL digital camera - a strong reed lamp and a partner to hold the reed at precisely the correct angle to pick up all areas of my scrape and strong areas left thicker in my scraping pattern. If you have a digital camera, try doing this technique. It should work well for you. Daytime is best with good ambient light in the picture taking room. Good luck! Sincerely, Gerald Corey, Ottawa

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Re: photographing reeds

I second the motion to get a digital camera. The flexibility and control that a good digital camera offers is amazing, and the monetary savings of not having to pay for film and film processing makes your photography practically free after your initial investment. With silver at about $12/ ounce these days, I'd hate to see the current prices of film and processing for conventional photography, which is a silver-based technology.

When shopping for a camera with which to photograph my jewelry I did exhaustive comparative shopping for an affordable digital camera with superb macro (close-focusing) performance, and the better Nikon Coolpix cameras trounced all the competition by an extremely wide margin. I remember that barrel and pincushion distortions were a major issue in the Sony and Fugi cameras. I bought a factory reconditioned Coolpix with a five year warranty extension on eBay for 4 or 5 hundred dollars and it has performed wonderfully. No special macro attachments or lens needed.

Forget the macro flash "ring-lights"; the lighting they yield is quite harsh. When back-lighting the reeds, make sure the light from your back-lighting lamp doesn't shine directly into the camera lens; some sort of barrier will be needed. If you wish to soften the light falling on the front of the reeds, make a frame out of clothes hanger wire and put one or two layers of white trash bag plastic over it, then suspend this over your lights.

-DC

David Crispin
Crispin's Creations and Accessories
freelance oboist. Mississippi Symphony Orchestra
www.CrispinsCreations.com

Re: photographing reeds

Some excellent suggestions here.  I think I might start a photographic reed journal to go along with my written one!

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds