I've had this guitar for almost 20 years and it has always been my favorite. I've taken several photos of it over the years and this one is the latest.
I wanted the photo to be dark overall since the guitar is black itself (with white trim). But I needed some separation from the guitar and the background so it would stand out and not be a very, low key shot.
So, the first thing I did was to set my camera's shutter speed to its fastest flash sync speed, which is 1/320 sec. Then I set my Nikon SB-800 on a light stand camera left and pointing down at about a 45 degree angle. I used a white translucent shoot thru umbrella to diffuse the light and made sure to angle it, in respect to the guitar, in such a way as not to leave a huge specular reflection in the guitar. The flash was dialed in at 1/4 power. I started off at 1/8 power but that was too dark. I took a few shots, and then was able to determine my working aperture of f/11.
After I had my key light adjust the way I wanted and my aperture/shutter speed, I set to creating my separation light. I knew right off that I wanted that blue background, so I attached a CTB (color temperature blue) gel to my Nikon SB-600 and positioned it directly behind the guitar pointing at the black sheet background. I set the flash power to 1/4 and chimped the shot on my LCD to see if it was enough. Looked good to me so what you see above is the finished product. Both flashes were triggered using my Nikon D300's built in CLS system.
Hope you like it!