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Four: Pay Attention to the Contours

Almost all basses have curved body contours that look more attractive when you pay attention to how you light them. Careful lighting can even make relatively traditional, "blockish" Fender-style basses look more interesting:

Neck-joint of a Carruthers P-J type bass.

Here is the same Sukop bass again, this time taken from the back (with flash):

Notice that there is a substantial amount of wood that's been cut away from the heel-area, resulting in a graceful arch. But because of the flattening effect of the flash, it's not as nice-looking as it could be. Below is a similar view, only this time using natural light :

With directional light falling from the upper right, the sweep of the arching contour becomes more than just a white highlight, and some reflected light helps define the cut-away section that rests against the player's ribs. The contouring of the heel section can be enhanced even more, by tilting the body of the bass so that the light entering through the window sweeps across the body at a different angle (a still-wrapped bar of soap seems like a handy size for a lot of this kind of bass-propping).

above: tilting the bass up with a bar of soap (right)

A little bit of playing around (slowly tilting the body towards and away from the light while carefully watching the changing of the shadows) willshow you what kinds of possibilities for lighting exist.

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