***WARNING*** This is a long tutorial and has 547 Kb of images. If you have a 56K modem, set this to load and go get a nice drink... It will be worth it! NOTE: none of these images are attached. They are hosted on my website - it's eating my bandwidth, not that of bladeforums. ------------------------------------------ OK. Whew! Now that you've waited, let's see what's to learn from a number of my mistakes in trying to get 2 good photographs of my favorite knife - the 12.5" Pen-Knife Khukuri. I've heard many people, collectors and knifemakers alike, complain about not being able to take good photographs of their knives. So, I asked them to show me their photos...and they contain (mostly) the same errors. So, I've written a Tutorial on how to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls in trying to get that "perfect shot" of your knife using only a point and shoot camera. A few things to think about: - Good Composition is more than just putting a nice background behind your knife, or sticking it tip-first into a log... - Knives are oftentimes shiny and twist light in all sorts of directions - It is ALWAYS better to photograph outdoors (best - in a light shade) - Direct sunlight and/or flash is the WORST lighting for knives - You don't have to be a whiz to take good pictures - You don't have to have a fancy camera to take good pictures - Plan on taking 5-10 bad pictures for every good one Now, let's get to the pics! When you first see this picture, you think "Hey, that doesn't look too bad!". However, there are several very basic things wrong with this picture. I'm not going to illustrate at this point in the Tutorial. Just go through to the end and when you're finished, come back and look at this photo and see if you can point out what's wrong with it - then you'll know you've learned something. Here is a photo similar to the one above. At first, it seems ok, but notice the coloring on the blade. This was shot outdoors and the blade is reflecting the colors of the trees around me. You may think "Cool, man", but it's actually quite distracting if you're seeing this knife for the first time and trying to determine it's quality, etc. Again, another blade mistake. This time on the tip. It's quite difficult to photograph mirror-polished blades, but we'll find a way by the end of this Tutorial. You can see a reflection of the brick wall in the tip of the blade that causes this knife to look blemished. Ok, I've moved around a little to get rid of the trees and brick wall. However, now you can see my reflection in the edge grind of the blade. Arghh...... In all the above photographs, the composition was ok, but overall, the pictures were very mediocre. The deer cloth background was a nice idea, but wasn't working because it is too busy - it distracts from the knife and makes you look at it as well. Just for kicks, I decide to try a new background and use a flash. Result: greasy looking blade, harsh lighting, warped colors and the image is too "contrasty".