The Art of Photographing a Monogram

Instagram. Hipstamatic. Twitpic. Sharing. Posting. Tagging. We’ve become (for better or worse) a society of sharers. Instant sharers at that. And thanks to smartphones touting cameras as good as most point-and-shoots, pictures of our meals, cats with books and celebrities on the subway actually look pretty darn good.

That said, shooting close-up details still requires the hand — and eye — of a professional. So we asked photographer David Nicholas, who recently shot some of our new wedding stationery collection, what exactly goes into capturing the incredible detail of an engraved monogram.

This is what David had to say about shooting the monogram seen below:

“What I love most about shooting for Crane is the surprising amount of detail the camera lens can capture in the detail shots. Sometimes the camera reveals details I didn’t see with my own eyes!

Often I utilize a focus bracketing and blending technique to expand the focused area in a detail shot. This allows the viewer to see all of that beautiful hand crafted detail that Crane is famous for. This detail image is one of my favorites and one that I utilized this technique to reveal detail from the foreground to background.

You can see in the “before” version how the focus is much more selective and the background goes very soft. The amazing part, from a technical standpoint, is that even this image was shot at F22, an aperture normally selected to increase depth of field.

However, because of the extreme macro nature of the shot and the steep angle from which the card is photographed, even F22 is unable to increase depth of field enough. So to record all of the necessary details, I have taken six photographs at different focus points and blended them into the one focused image we see here titled ‘after’.”

It’s quite a process, as you can tell, but we think you’ll agree that the end result is well worth it. Take a look:

engraved monogram detail final

engraved monogram detail
Have questions about etiquette? Email our Crane Concierge at

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