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Three: Decide which way is up!

One of the easiest ways to take pictures of your bass is to set it down flat near a window where some diffused light is coming into a room and to take a picture of it from above, looking down at it:

Does this look good to you? Something funny? Which one looks better - the one above, or the one below?

This is something that happens a lot when you take pictures of basses as they're lying down - because it's easy to forget which way is "up". Although the above pictures look very similar, most people would probably say that the bottom one looks better. It might take people a few seconds to identify exactly what's different about these images, but even without knowing, the bottom one will just "feel right" compared to the top one. Both these photos were taken with the bass lying flat on my bed, but the instrument's orientation relative to the window is exactly 180° different in each. As soon as we look at the pictures "right side up", the bass looks like it's lit from "underneath" in the top photograph. Just like how you can scare little children by shining a flashlight on your face from the bottom up, the top bass will seem weird because of the "unnatural" lighting. We spend all our lives walking the face of this Earth with the sun beaming down from above - any reversal of this - however small - tends to create an (almost subconscious) eerie feeling. The same is true of a bass picture in which the bass is intended to be seen "vertically":


The differences are subtle but it's something to watch out for. The picture on the left, when edited in Photoshop, ends up looking like this (bottom left):


Now isn't that a big difference from the original picture taken with flash?

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