PHOTOGRAPHING A STEINWAY B, WITH THE TAMRON SP 90 MM F/2.8 MACRO
Steinway has an impeccable reputation in the music world. The gorgeous handmade instruments are synonymous with quality. Steinways are routinely played by top artists at the best concert halls in the world.
There are only two places in the world where Steinway pianos are made, New York and Germany. A few years ago, I had the good fortune of getting the "insiders" tour of the Steinway & Sons factory in New York. The tour really gives you an appreciation for the craftsmanship that goes into a Steinway. Each instrument is handmade by incredible craftsman. Each piano takes a year to make.
Steinway and Sons was founded on March 5, 1853 by German immigrant Henry Engelhard Steinway at a Manhattan loft. Henry was a master cabinet maker who built his first piano in the kitchen of his Seesen, Germany home. By the time he established Steinway and Sons, he had built 482 Pianos. The first piano produced by the company, number 483, was sold to a New York Family for $500.
Fast forward 161 years and a Steinway B sells for $92,000. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of photographing a Steinway B as it was being tuned. I had the opportunity to ask questions of one of the incredible Steinway tuners, true masters of their craft.
For the shoot, I used my Tamron SP 90 MM Macro, f/2.8 to capture the details of the craftsmanship. Tamron's 90 mm is razor sharp and has a very shallow depth of field, perfect for this shoot. A tripod was used to eliminate shake. I used my new Canon 7D Mark II without any flash or extra light in order to test out the new and improved ISO capabilities on the MK II. I was pleasantly surprised that I could crank up the ISO much higher than on my 7D Mk I. In other images, I used the Manfrotto Lumie lights, which are very small and portable, to illuminate the inside of the Steinway. I photograph many pianists, and often I will use the Lumie inside the piano during the portrait to bring out the details of the piano.
Feel free to leave comments, I hope you enjoy the images.