G&L Legacy


Okay, now the third photo in the guitar series. This is a G&L Legacy. G&L is the late great Leo Fender's company post-Fender, and the Legacy is the evolution of the famous Stratocaster guitar. Strats are comfort food for me. I've played them for so long, they just feel and sound right to me.  At the time I bought this guitar, you could get a custom guitar from G&L - specifying everything from the finish and woods, to the pickups, to the neck shape - for a very reasonable price.  Nowadays the price is more in line with what other custom shops charge.  Anyway this one has an Electric Blue finish (no longer available unfortunately) and birdseyes maple neck with a "gun oil" finish.  I got a 1 11/16" wide neck with a 12" fretboard radius.  That means it's a bit wider and flatter than a vintage Strat neck, which I find more comfortable and more accommodating to string bending.  The guitar is definitely a looker but it feels like a player.  I replaced the bridge pickup with a Seymour Duncan Lil '59 and re-wired it so that it splits to a single-coil when combined with the the middle pickup.  That retains a bit more of that classic Strat "quack" sound (ala Mark Knopfler), which gets neutered if the bridge pickup is left in humbucker mode.  I go back-and-forth every year debating on changing the pickups and wiring back to stock, but the way I have it is a very versatile configuration.

I did a bit of playing around with shallow depth of field as well.

I really like how the photo below shows off the sparkle in the metallic finish and the swirl pattern in the pearloid pickguard.  I figured out a couple of tricks for making the sparkle paint and the pearloid really pop:  The trick for the sparkle paint is just to do a little sharpening with the Unsharp Mask tool using a threshold of 0, which will sharpen all the way down to the metallic chips in the paint, assuming the photo is in good focus.  You want to go easy on the Amount slider (60-120% max) or it will start to look crispy!  Also, layer masking to limit the sharpening to just the paint is a good idea.  For the pearloid, Color Efex Pro has a filter called Tonal Contrast that does wonders.  In particular, the Highlights slider will amplify detail in white pearloid and not affect the rest of the image much so long as the rest of the image is primarily mid-tones and shadows.

And now the obligatory rigging shot.  Or one of them anyway.  I used a number of different lighting setups for these photos, including a grid spot, a 24" softbox, and the small softbox you see in the photo below.  I also used a bounce flash off the ceiling or the wall on the right when I wanted some fill light.  The backdrop is a curtain we use on our 4-poster bed commandeered from the bedroom.