Bristol Festival of Photography Guitar Poster

I have had the idea of doing a poster like this for a while so with the exhibition coming up at the Bristol Festival of Photography in May I thought I would have a go.

As I have said before on my blog I have been playing  guitar badly for forty years. Although I went on a guitar players workshop about ten years ago and someone said I wish I could play the blues like Andy Beel.

Over the last forty years I have owned a number of acoustic and electric guitars. I currently have five guitars.

The twelve pictures that make up this poster are a Taylor 814CE, Martin D15, Takamine EN10-12 and a Fender CG35 SCE. I did think of offering the poster to Taylor Guitars in the US as a part of their merchandising but realised the poster is not exclusively Taylor products.

The pictures were taken over a period of four years. The poster was put together in Lightroom 3. I put all the pictures I wanted to use in a collection in the correct order and orientation but not cropped square. In the Lightroom Print Module I made a custom user template for the 12 square grid. I selected all the pictures in the collection and went in to the print module. The pictures were cropped square and placed in the grid. Any masochists amongst you might like to try to do this in Photoshop which would have been much more difficult.

The poster was printed at A2. The file you are looking at was saved as a JPG file from the montage in Lightroom print module and then exported out of Lightroom with my Copyright appended.

A big hello to all the new followers of my little blog.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS

18 responses to Bristol Festival of Photography Guitar Poster

  1. Absolutely beautiful shot Andy.
    A really geeky question for you.
    The guitar on the right hand side, third down, has some odd effect or vibration in the strings. Is it a twelve string guitar or did you strum it before taking the photo.
    I won’t be able to sleep until I know.


    • andybeel says:

      Hi Dave most observant of you, yes it is a 12 string. The shots were taken with 150mm f2.8 Macro lens @f2.8.

      The effect you are seeing is the string out of focus, the string is not vibrating. With f2.8 at a close distance the dof is about 1mm.

      You can rest easier now.
      Regards Andy


    • andybeel says:

      Hi Gaby I haven’t played in public for a few years now. I only play for my own amazement while I am waiting for prints to come out of the printer. I have two cameras with video but don’t have a clue how to use it switch it on even!

      I say lets start a campaign to keep cine off of stills cameras.

      Like colour photgraphy talkies will never catch on.

      Thanks for commenting.



  2. kjb404 says:

    Andy, I’ve been playing guitar, mostly acoustic, for 40 years now as well. Nice to meet another player and photographer – thanks for the nice guitar montage.


  3. athyfoto says:

    Great job with your poster Andy, it looks terrific!

    ” . . . Any masochists amongst you might like to try to do this in Photoshop which would have been much more difficult . . .”

    The key is obviously the creation of the template. In LR4 making the template was a doddle but I think after that LR is a bit clunky. I don’t see any way of moving the image around inside its cell to get the composition you want.

    In PS5 the template was a little more time consuming but that’s only done once and you get total control of the image placement inside the “cell”. My template consists of 12 layers with layer masks representing the cell locations. Un-linking the layer from its mask allows you to drag the image around without moving the mask so you can re-compose each image inside their “cell”.

    If I’m missing a trick in Lightroom I’d love to know. I trawled the help files without success.


    • andybeel says:

      Hi Frank my knowledge of creating montages is fairly slim as this is the first one I have done.

      It would appear that in Ps would spend the time using guides and layer masking. In Lr you spend the time cropping and resizing if you want exact images.

      I was happy with serendipity of letting Lr decide where the square crop was going to be as they were all tightly cropped in the first place.



      • athyfoto says:

        Hi Andy,

        Just for completeness (or perhaps pedantry 🙂 ), I have discovered that in custom packages in the Lightroom print module if you hold down the Ctrl key then you CAN drag the image around inside its frame if you want to fine tune its composition.


  4. Lesley says:

    In the Lightroom Print Module I made a custom user template for the 12 square grid.

    I am having probs with this bit, not sure how you make a custom user template?


    • andybeel says:

      Hi Lesley
      I have not got Lr4 but this how it’s done in Lr3.

      In the print module > Layout > Page Grid.

      When you have the gird, margins and size you want save it as a new User template by clicking on the + sign of the Template Browser on the LHS of the window.

      Hope this helps


    • andybeel says:

      Hi Jack thanks. The next thing will be when I get the urge to do some guitar pictures, to do it in a way I haven’t done before. Andy


      • Jack Brewis says:

        Certainly look forward to that collection. Two of your great passions in one – the guitar and the camera. Will be a fine mix of specialness I am sure.


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