A great deal of what makes this site successful are the submissions sent by Carvin fans all over the world. The Player's Gallery and Collections sections wouldn't exist without the hundreds of photos of personal instruments that have been submitted, and other sections of the site have benefited from user submissions (see the Credits page for the details).
Submissions of your gear: If you want to send in pictures of your gear, email it to email@example.com, or use the form at the bottom of this page. The bigger the pictures, the better - don't worry about making them pretty; I will crop, rotate and otherwise clean them up. Pictures need to be at least 450 pixels high, but preferably larger.
Catalogs: After years and years of searching, buying, borrowing and so on, the site now has every catalog from 1955 forward represented. However, there are some years where multiple catalogs were issued, so if you have a catalog that has an item of interest not shown here, let me know. Not every page from every catalog is shown. In many years, the same catalog photo, description and prices were shown, so, the limit the redundancy, some of these duplicate pages have been omitted. Still, there are about 1200 catalog pages included on the site from the past 50 years.
Everything else: I'm also always on the lookout for other Carvin stuff - print ads, vintage flyers, schematics, articles - anything that will add value to the site. Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photographing your gear: BunnyBass has a terrific primer on taking better pictures of guitars and basses. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- Have a neutral, uncluttered background. The focus of the picture is the instrument, not your un-made bed, dirty socks on the floor, etc. Composition is important - the instrument will look worse if it's shot in bad surroundings.
- Outdoor pictures generally look better than indoor pictures, although direct sunlight on an instrument will invariably result in hotspots in the picture. For best results, take a picture outside, but in the shade.
- Use a tripod and camera timer. This is probably the most important tip. By using the timer with the camera on a tripod, you'll get exceptionally sharp pictures, especially macro (close-up) shots. Notice how crisp and clear the close-up of the headstock above is - this was done with the camera on a tripod, and using the camera timer and macro function.
- Avoid using flash whenever
flash will invariably make a hotspot, as well as cast really awful shadows.
However, flash can bring out the flame in an instrument, if used correctly.
The DN640Ks below were shot at the same angle, from the same distance.
The one on the left was shot with no flash, just using the ambient lighting
in the room. The one on the right was shot with a flash. Notice
that although the figure in the koa is more pronounced, there are also some
ugly shadows behind the neck, and the speaker in the cabinet is unnaturally
prominent. Additionally, the bass bridge is reflecting too much flash,
the area around the lower bout is too bright, and there are hot spots on the
pickup bezels and bass fingerboard. Although the flame is more
prominent, the overall picture looks artificial and bright. The photo
on the left is much more accurate, and doesn't have the distracting shadows
and hot spots, and the speaker stays in the background where it belongs.
Bouncing a white light (like a halogen light) off the ceiling would make the
picture on the left look even better. If you have a directional flash,
bouncing it off the ceiling instead of pointing it directly at the
instrument can have a good result, as well. If you must use a flash, try
diffusing it by holding a sheet of white paper in front of it when it goes
off - this will soften the overall effect of the flash.
- Take a
minute to wipe down your instrument before photographing it, especially
dark-colored instruments. Nothing takes away from the great looks of a
guitar or bass than a bunch of fingerprints all over it. Don't forget
to wipe down the tuners, too!
The photo on the left is really pretty bad. The glossy finish reflects everything that's opposite the guitar - the camera tripod, red flowers, plants, etc. In fact, you really can't even tell what color it is (blackburst on quilted maple). For the photo on the right, nothing was changed, except I stood behind the camera tripod holding up a black furniture pad (sort of like a bedspread). The instrument is still highly reflective, but it's reflecting the black furniture pad, not the plants and flowers. You can still see the camera tripod somewhat, but a little trial and error could have made that go away, as well. Any dark material will work - a sheet, towel, etc. The closer the color of the fabric to the guitar (i.e., a blue bath towel for a blue guitar), the better the results.
Below is another example.
On the left, my Pearl Purple DN440T doubleneck bass in an unedited snapshot. In the
photo on the right, I held up a purple bath towel to knock off the majority
of the reflection. Although there is still a little bit of a
reflective image, the vast majority of the reflection has been eliminated.
- If your instrument has a tremolo, don't forget to put the arm on.
- If your digital camera is equipped with a date function, turn it off. Or at least make sure the date isn't going to appear on top of your instrument.
- Photoshop. You don't
have to "clean up" your image to submit it to the Museum, but if you're
skilled with Photoshop (or a similar graphics package), you can. For
example, look at Gus Morganti's CT6M and DC400T below. The composition
is excellent, and it's a very interesting picture. However, in the
left picture, the seams between the cushions on the sofa take away from the
overall composition. Using Photoshop's clone tool, I erased the seams,
making for a cleaner picture.
On a related note, the above picture is a great example of the flash causing unwanted shadows. Although the picture is good, it would be much better without the shadows and the hot spot on the CT's bridge pickup caused by the flash.