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SharpByCoop

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Everything posted by SharpByCoop

  1. Kevin's been in contact with me and I will get to it when it arrives. WHAT an impressive build. I shoot hundreds and even thousands of knives, and a bunch of swords. It's rewarding and educational for me as well to understand the processes BEFORE they come to my door. I don't think I've posted in the forum for many years. Blame Kevin for the return! Best, Coop
  2. Hi Dick, I am most flattered to hear this. You 'get' it. When my images please me the most is when they look plausible and flow. I suspect you see this too, although it's hard to place your finger on why. I took pains to display the two insets with similar angles. The eye and nature loves symmetry. In this case they are converging out beyond the butt handle end of the core image. Many times my folder photos do this beyond the tip of the knife going the other way. I do not just slap the insets in. After years of doing this, there are times where I actually visualize the finished layout and work as I am shooting it. The proper lighting angles need to be correct. As in most things, those that make it look 'easy' have learned through many, many trials. Sorry, I diverted from the REAL superstar in this thread, but I enjoy this dialog. Best, Coop
  3. Hi Guys, Thanks for the nice responses. As it should be, Don deserves the accolades. I was smitten with the shapes on this from the beginning. I love how handle meets the bolster slimming down to a waist. Like a long dress on an elegant lady. The shape of the slender tapering bolster and the two opposing curves of the blade at the lower choil. The more I look the more I see. I wish you all the same good fortune to find a style that pushes you and compliments you. I think Don found his. Coop
  4. Folks, I am remiss in not posting in this forum for months. This project made me step back in. Hello again. Don's work has always been top-tier. Don and I go a long ways back on photo projects (mostly for the dealers I do) and because of such he is my MOST photographed maker. I did not own a knife by Don, regrettably. Over a year ago we talked about creating a project that had a period aspect or look to it. Many of you know I enjoy the Mediterranean bowies or dirks in my Hill Pearce collection. Don loves them also. The 'look' is largely identified by the exclusion of a finger guard and a long, relatively slender blade. Sometimes it may include a Spanish Notch. Here is Don's initial drawing for me which we started: I was already impressed as he started with EXACTLY the flavor and style I wished for. I did not want a damascus blade (too rich and largely out-of-period), but we felt that would work well on the bolster. After a number of tweaks we discussed he finalized with this drawing to work off of: After a hiccup I created in discussing the length via email (Tip: Pick up the phone often. It can save troubles.... ) he had forged and ground the profile and started the layout. In-progress images were arriving daily..... Let's cut to the chase. I'll talk more about it when you look it over. Take your time to look VERY closely at the 'simple curves'. Specs: OAL: 12½" - Blade 7½" Bolster: Random pattern forged by maker Scales: Antique elephant ivory (chosen for it's historical accuracy and simpler beauty) Pins: 14K gold Name: Sinistre (French styling in it's curves and appearance, and this is the French translation of 'Sinister' -- a fitting adjective.) The blade has a bit of a dark patina to it--this has not been enhanced in my photo work. The characteristic DH3 hamon is there, but not overpowering. You should notice that this is the first sweeping grind Don has done on a knife. He felt this one deserved the look. Communication with Don is always a pleasure. He knew this would take some time and never overpromised on completion. I am MOST pleased with this knife and the process of it's build. I share with you my Fototime album with even more build shots and drawings with captions to follow. Click here for more of this knife. I know you will enjoy this. This was an 'out-the-box' project for Don and he was well up to the task! Thanks for looking! Coop
  5. Joss is being kind in thanking me, but at this point making a light tent out of PVC is old-hat. That dagger is a GREAT example of the results you can achieve. :You_Rock_Emoticon: Nicely done. There are no excuses for poor images any longer from knife-lovers and makers. The cost of making a suitable studio tent on your own is only a few dollars. Well-done, Jens! Welcome aboard! Coop
  6. Hi Guys, I a tip of the hat to YOU, JD for posting and creating these. Yup, those who have been around bladesmithing for a while will remember Hill Pearce and his period-styled knives. JD caught a good taste with this creation. It's still 100% JD Smith, though, and your filework will always be one of your great hallmarks. :notworthy: Keep it up. This was very gratifying to shoot. Coop
  7. Thanks to all of you guys for your flattering comments. Don's knife is the star here. I just made it look as good as it is. Anytime you wish for a hi-res copy to print just email me. I will email it back to you. Coop
  8. It's voodoo.... Here is a Nick Wheeler shot I did with my tent and strobes: And here is the same shot wth a 5"x 20" black posterboard reflector positioned only over the blade: Crazy. It has the best effect if the blade is polished. Satin blades will not 'pop' like polished. I wish I knew more, but this was a pretty clear example of what Don described. Coop
  9. I had the pleasure of shooting this knife for Don, sent to me before it has arrived to his client. The talent in this knife is only exceeded by the friendship I maintain with Don. He's a fave of mine. The good makers only make it LOOK easy.... I know you will like it also. How could you not! Coop PS--glad to see this place back and running....
  10. ...and that describes it well. It's smaller and thinner than most of the work Don has done, and so the level of detail is that much MORE engaging. :eek: Signature mosaic blade and bolsters. No stone left unturned. Just.... wow! Coop
  11. Good points made. And some glaring generalities tossed in.... From what has been stated, you *really* can appreciate Don Hanson for what he has acheived. Look at the three photos of his work: http://www.fototime.com/05C5124B683B1D7/orig.jpg http://www.fototime.com/52310AC6F50E072/orig.jpg http://www.fototime.com/D16C6DD0C6C0057/orig.jpg He has raised and met the bar on three distinct levels: forged fixed blade, small fancy gents folder, and fancy BADASS tactical. (He got permission from Strider to utilize that blade shape.) OK, I'm a big fan of Don, and this is why. He belongs in all three camps. Folders: Precision and gadget factor Fixed: Forging and shape It's all good. Coop
  12. Many of you guys might have seen these, but if not, spend a moment dreaming and admiring. There are thousands of hours labor put into the knives. You can appreciate the work and artistry. Chicago Custom Knife Show Photos I was fortunate to be the show photographer for Ed and Kathy Wormser's second show in Chicago. Coop
  13. Hi Jesse, You're getting there. Probably better than whatever you had before.... Unless you have those elusive daylihgt balanced fluorescents, you will have fits color balancing other types of lights. Even if you do, you may have to experiment on the various settings to see the differences. Take a simple knife shot in ALL the settings available and see what comes up. More light is ALWAYS better. Get more or get closer. Use a tripod and lengthen your exposure time, if nothing else. Use a manual setting to experiment. Knifemaking success is DEPENDENT upon marketing yourself and your knife. This skillset is a requirement as much as making sheaths is. You're doing well. Keep at it. Coop
  14. And that just about covers it. What I am most proud of is how *little* the black reflector detracted from the rest of the image. There are no big shadows and darker backgrounds. Selective darkening, if you will. You can't have it all. I should try a little digital movie and rotate it in the light. THEN you might get the picture! Coop
  15. Hi Aaron. Good points. I understand you completely and agree. The trouble is in the case of this knife, the hamon is like pearl--it comes alive when you move it. It is VERY hard to capture a static image that covers all aspects. Believe me, I was studying this in harsh light for a while trying to understand how clearly I could see it on the brink of a direct light reflection. Just outside of the main reflection was the 'cloudy line' that is the essence of a good hamon. I knew there WAS a light direction method that would capture that, but actually doing it was the challenge. Look at the Japanese swords and that crazy black lighting they use to embellish a hamon. Frankly, it is fairly unrealistic, because anything BUT this special lighting does not show us this degree of hamon. But it is a 'standard' of photographing this work. In the past I have settled for a mild darker line, and left it at that. The feedback that I hear and get from my clients, is they work HARD to capture the subtle aspects of a hamon, and really wish that to be a highlight. It is not wholly unrealistic, because if you hold and rotate this knife, it is there--very evident. I think Don has a 'before/after' image of a hamon on his site somewhere that shows just how fleetimng this whole aspect is. I wish I had all the answers for a 2-D image... Coop
  16. It's all digital, Andy. I merged the two images and increased the contrast a bit. Nothing crazy or unrealistic at all. (Canon EOS-20D/ Tamron 28-75 lens with polarizing filter) Coop
  17. RIght you are! In order to extend the defining shadow all the way to the tip without losing it at the radius, I simply prop up the tip an 1/4" or so with a wad of masking tape. It only appears odd if you stare and look for it. Otherwise it HELPS the overall image. Thanks for the patience! Coop
  18. Dark residue. You're only half right... Getting close. Coop
  19. What are Oxides....???! Nope. I just showed my wife. She didn't get it either, and she knows ALL my tricks... Once I showed her she remembered, though. Defying the laws of physics... Coop
  20. Nope and nope. No Photoshop work done to 'cheat'. Coop
  21. OK, so I 'cheated' a little on that one. I also cheated somewhere else in the image. Clue: Something mysterious... Any guesses? Coop
  22. OK, here is a perfect example of using a black reflector to 'highlight' something. In this case, Nick Wheeler has a beautiful bowie with a very highly polished blade. When you hold it and twist it in the light, there is this mysterious hamon that has clouds and lots to enjoy. Let's look at it now with my normal lightbox setup.... Huh????!!!! That doesn't show ANYTHING. What are you talking about??! OK, let's try it again--this time holding a 6"x24" piece of black 1/4" foamboard over it inside the light tent just to shield the light right up to the handle. Ahhh-HA! that's the ticket! This was especially effective because of the high degree of polish. Not as dramatic when there is a satin finish. Really cool to see the before and after shots. Coop
  23. I am relieved to hear you HAVE insurance. Some consolation at least. I'm stunned like all the others. You have a LOT of respect in the knife world, Ray. Let us know how we can help. Don't let pride get in the way of community. Coop
  24. Thanks for your responses and comments. These were fun! Coop
  25. I find the knife compelling, as do all of youz guyz. Don't underestimate that image. If there was more lighting on the blade the hamon would NOT be as distinct. Don, you tried something crafty there, I am sure... I like the background better than a plain one. It has a pleasing effect, but there is no confusing the main subject. One tip: elevate the tip of the blade with a piece of balled up masking tape. You will get a clear shadow underneath all the way to the tip. No one will question it, and it gives it a symmetry that works nicely. Coop
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