Today’s roundup goes out to our good friends at Audiotuts+ for continually offering up stellar tutorials for all things audio! We’ve gathered a huge collection of over 120 photos of vintage audio and radio equipment. If talk of 8-tracks and vinyl records gets you nostalgic, you won’t want to miss this collection!
In addition to the photos, we’ll go over a few quick tips to keep in mind when you’re shooting your own vintage electronic equipment. Let’s get started!
Before we get into the photos, let’s take a look at some of the trends you can expect to see in this particular genre and how you can learn from them for your own attempts.
Try a Shallow Depth of Field
Some of the most gorgeous photos from the collection below utilize an extremely shallow depth of field. The reason these images lend themselves so well to this type of effect is because the controls are quite small, so even if you’re not zoomed in close enough to be considered macro, you can still have a very macro feel to the photo.
Even better, a shallow depth of field helps to emphasize a specific detail or control on the radio. The image below focuses on a single knob, which in and of itself is a control that we see less and less in our digitally-driven world.
Another trend you’ll notice in the images below is a focus on presenting the brand name or logo of a particular piece of equipment. As a photographer, the aesthetics of the item might be the most important aspect to you, but to collectors and aficionados, the brand and model is everything. If you want to catch the attention of your target audience here, you’ll go a along way with brand emphasis.
Use A Natural Environment
Studio shots are great, but when you’re shooting something that represents a specific time period, it’s hard to beat an image that further sets the tone with the surrounding environment.
The image below isn’t just a close-up of the radio, instead, the photographer has taken a step back and captured the shelf, the books, and event the dust in the scene. Notice that there isn’t a single modern piece of technology or design shown, which would violate the integrity of the scene.
Don’t Forget the Human Element
One thing that I would’ve liked to have found more of in my search is people interacting with the equipment. These images take cold, aged technological items and makes it easy to see how they enriched the lives of their owners.
The image below is a great snapshot that really captures a specific time and place. It’s really not even about the boombox, the emphasis lies elsewhere, however, it’s still a very important part of the scene and adds to that “good times” feeling the image is meant to portray.
Old Meets New
Instead of setting the scene just perfectly with only time-appropriate items, it’s always fascinating to portray a juxtaposition of new vs. old, especially with technology.
The image below accomplishes this with the placement of a cassette tape on top of an iPhone on iPod mode, an excellent visual representation of how dramatically audio technology has changed in the past thirty years.
If you combine this tip with the previous one, you could come up with some great images of modern people in modern settings interacting with obviously outdated technology. We saw this trick used several times in our vintage camera roundup.
Dirt Is Good
If this post inspires you to dig out your old audio equipment and polish it off for a photo shoot, consider snapping a few photos of the pieces right out of the attic, before the cleanup effort. In the case of vintage equipment, dirt, dust and scratches only serve to add character and a certain dirty reality to the image.
Now that we’ve seen a few tips based on some of the most interesting photos from the collection, let’s move onto the photos! We’ll start with all types of old radios, then move on to more specific sections: record players, microphones and finally, old media such as 8-tracks and cassette tapes.
Records, 8-Tracks and Cassettes
Show Us Yours!
As always, thanks for checking out our photo roundups! Check back next week for another awesome collection of images from extremely talented photographers.
In the mean time, leave a comment below and show us your best photos of your old audio equipment. Also be sure to point out your favorites from the collection above!