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-   -   how to do album cover - pianist @ piano? (

pianoplayer88key May 13, 2005 5:42 AM

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but in this example pic there are no singers.
First of all, it's severely underexposed (I didn't use the flash and the room lights were dim). I didn't do a levels operation cause I don't know how to make Photoshop save the EXIF info when you edit a file, so it's straight from the CF card.

The camera (Canon S1 IS) was mounted on a tripod about 2 to 2 1/2 feet above the piano with the tripod on the piano.

I know I need a wider angle lens for what I want to capture. I would like to make sure to get my hands on the keyboard in the pic, as well as my face without it looking weird or being cut off. Also there might be 10 to 20 people crowded around the piano, mostly behind and beside me, but probably several in the space between my arms and the piano, including sitting on my lap (they'd all be quite a bit younger than me btw).
As for the amount of piano in the shot, I at LEAST want the keyboard in the frame. I may even go so far as to take the front panel and lid off, so as to get the action and strings in the picture (would need to use a fairly wide angle lens (maybe < 28 mm) and may have the photographer sit on top of the piano and take the pic from there).

The real pic would be taken by someone standing behind the piano (probably on the wooden part of the back frame running horizontally along the bottom of the piano).

Any suggestions on how to get the technique / pose right, now that you hopefully have an idea of what I'm looking for?

EDIT: I reshot this one. It's taken from above the piano on the tripod, and I took the lid and front panel off the piano so the piano's insides (action (hammers) and strings) would be in the shot, which is the way I might want it on the real thing. The board across the pic is only there for a place for the tripod while I was shooting this particular shot. In the real thing, I'd probably have someone shoot it, maybe handheld.

pianoplayer88key May 13, 2005 5:43 AM

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Here's a shot of that same piano taken from in front of it (to give you an idea of the size of the piano - it's no spinet so you practically have to take the shot from above).

Oh, and please pardon the extra clutter in both shots.

Or, there may be a chance I might use a slightly smaller piano - one such that it's height would come up to about where the hammer rail is (the light colored wooden piece in the middle of the big piano).

And, if you see a bump in my head on the first shot (don't know if you will) when I was trying to shoot the first time, the camera's tripod was a bit imbalanced - it fell off the piano and the camera hit me in the forehead. :(

[email protected] May 13, 2005 4:03 PM

Take the piano out to a park or another nice place,maybe with water around.

You need a refreshing background for that pic.

Or just borrow someone's keyboard for the shotif you don't feel like moving the piano.

pianoplayer88key May 13, 2005 5:46 PM

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Chances are I wouldn't use it at that location, and if I DID, I would get rid of the clutter.

I would want the same piano used in the shot as the one used on the album.

And, it's not that I don't mind moving the piano - I would be willing to have it moved if necessary, but that particular piano, although it was available to me for taking the picture (it's my personal piano), it wouldn't be very good for recording an album on.

Also that piano is 56" tall. There's another piano I'm thinking I might want to see about using - a Baldwin Hamilton, that's only about 45" tall.


As I mentioned in the edited first post, here's the shot that's closer to the angle I would want the picture to be taken from. Also please note that there would be people crowded in the photo - maybe as much as 2 rows back behind me - all standing (mostly preschool to junior high age, with the tallest ones being in the back probably).
I would definitely need a different camera than my S1 IS, as 3 megapixels is not NEARLY enough resolution (this was shot at 640x480 fine mode to keep size down for uploading to here), and the 38mm wide lens is WAY too telephoto to get everything in the frame. (also this shot here is a better indicator of how far I would be sitting from the piano. I would have as many people between me and the piano as would fit, and the overflow would be behind and around me.)

So, how would I get the piano's strings and hammers in the frame, as you can see from the first pic, AND also get people standing behind me, beside me, and between me, my arms, and the piano, in the picture, without getting a fisheye effect which I can almost start to see with the 38mm shots (especially the first - second isn't quite as bad)? (my legs seem WAY farther away than my face in the first shot, for example.)

pianoplayer88key May 13, 2005 5:54 PM

Oh, and what does the exif say the ISO was on those shots (if available)? I thought I shot it at ISO 400, but it doesn't look as noisy as I expected it to...

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