The Art Of The Pickture – Jamabiko’s Object Photography

John Tron Davidson
September 29, 2021
September 26, 2021

Pick-photographer extraordinaire Juerg Itten (@jamabiko) takes breathtaking shots of the Plectroverse. For the inaugural takeover post, Juerg shares his essentials for pick photography with the community. Read on!


Object photography is like interpreting a jazz standard: on the one hand you serve the song (or the object), on the other hand you can fill it with your very own personality. A picture of an object can convey a message, make you stuck, create a mood, stimulate thoughts and imagination. In object photography you have the same possibilities of expression as in other areas of photography.

Fresh Approaches
Not every object, in our case not every pick, can be photographed in the same way. So, the first thing is to recognize the character and properties of the pick: is it transparent or opaque? Is it light or dark? Is it matte or does it reflect? Is it structured or flat? Does it look better with the tip up (like a flame) or down? The setting is then put together based on these properties. Of course, you can also simply take a picture of a pick in a light box, but I prefer a selection of materials for the underground and background (woods, papers, fabrics, acrylic sheets, maybe a wall). Of course, you can also take pictures of a pick with the instrument, with other objects or in nature. It is simply important that you have a clear and simple image idea. Such ideas can be for example: light to dark, dark to light, dark to dark, light to light. (Yes, exactly, a contrast does not always have to be aimed for.)

Daylight ring, backdrop, pick, camera, patience.

Into The Light
After the setting comes the lighting. I have had good experiences with a ring light in combination with daylight. Direct sunlight, which results in too bright shadows, is practically never beneficial. I recommend using a camera and not a phone, set to shallow depth of field. By editing the picture, you can completely change the image effect again. This element is important, but in my opinion, you can get along well with free programs.
And at last: Be inspired without copying, also outside of your own subject area!
@meantone_plectra @playmorepicks

Juerg Itten is a photographer, father, and Lego enthusiast. He can be found taking picktures @jamabiko on Instagram, so follow immediate.

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