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Knife Photography Discussion Share and improve your techniques on knife photography. Web and print imaging discussions welcome. Come on in ...

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  #1  
Old 02-29-2008, 05:30 PM
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willhunt willhunt is offline
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New Drop Point

I was able to travel to the Upper Penninsula of Michigan, and attend an event called a "Grind-In". It is put on by the Bark River Knife Collectors Association, of which I am a member. We were able to actually design, grind, and build a knife of our own. I must say that the knife is not completely my own, as the experienced crew of Bark River were there at every step to lend a hand, so I couldn't totally screw it up.

I chose to make a copy of, in my mind, one of the classic knives of our time. The Loveless Drop Point.

I found a beautiful set of Sambar slabs from an internet dealer. I love a brass guard, and the mosaic pins in the handle just seemed to set it off.

OK, now for the photography part.

I was going for a very simple, uncomplicated look, for a simple and elegant knife. The original background was just...........boring. I am really just a novice at Photoshop, and tried an eliptical cut-out with some blur and a bevel/emboss around it. A little drop shadow and a few other adjustments, here it is.

Any and all comments/critiques are very welcome.



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Old 03-01-2008, 04:14 PM
Bob Hatfield Bob Hatfield is offline
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GREAT JOB!! I really like the knife and it's clean flowing classic lines. You did a great job in how you presented it in the photo.

Bob Hatfield


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Old 03-02-2008, 07:03 AM
Elarski Elarski is offline
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Sir, that's some nice work! Good job.
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  #4  
Old 03-04-2008, 01:36 PM
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Buddy Thomason Buddy Thomason is offline
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Very nice! I like it. I do see a pinkish color cast on the blade. It would be better if that wasn't there. Best to avoid it before taking the pic by setting white balance properly or, less best but still doable, eliminate it during post processing. Very nice though. Great job.


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Old 03-06-2008, 07:35 PM
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willhunt willhunt is offline
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Thanks to all for the nice comments.

I agree, Buddy. The slight pink cast on the blade is obviously there.

I am using incandescent lights, and did set the color balance on the camera to the proper setting. But when I tried to correct it in Photoshop, it seemed to throw the colors off in the rest of the knife. I guess I could selectively cut out just the blade and try to correct it that way. Still learning.

And I also agree that getting it as close as possible to correct, right out of the camera, greatly reduces the amount of post processing needed.

This Photoshop is a daunting program. The more I seem to learn about it, the more I realize I am just scratching the surface. But that is the challenging and fun part of it.

A quick technical question about Photoshop.......

When selecting, or "cutting out" a knife from the background, I use the polygonal lasso tool, with no pixel feather.

Just wondering what everyone else uses, or if maybe I am I way off the mark.

Here is another knife that I basically just re-handled.

Nice Damascus with a Sambar taper.

I tried a composite shot here to show the small mosaic pins in the brass butt-plate.

Again, referring to the Polygonal lasso tool, I'm not quite sure that my settings are the best. The image looks OK to me, but I'd appreciate any input as to how I might "step it up" a notch. Any critiques or comments are very welcome.



The last is a Marble's Expert, that had a not so flattering Maple handle. I re-handled it in stacked leather with a "vintage stack" of black/brass/brick red spacers, and a much nicer brass guard and pommel.

On my way to the Upper Penninsula for the Grind-In, I took this shot of the Mackinac Bridge. Just playing around in Photoshop, and came up with this one.



Again, thanks to all for the replies. And of course any and all comments/critiques are very welcome.


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Old 03-07-2008, 10:48 AM
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Andrew McLurkin Andrew McLurkin is offline
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First off, that is a good looking knife! Looks like one Bob made himself.

I did a real quick color correction for the pink cast by going: Image > Adjustments > Color Balance > Tone Balance > Highlights > Cyan -12 Blue +6. Not perfect but closer.

One other suggestion, when I use bevel/emboss I like to move the global light feature to match the image lighting. In your case the light aspect of the cut-out would be on top and the dark on the bottom.





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Last edited by Andrew McLurkin; 03-07-2008 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 03-08-2008, 02:28 AM
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Buddy Thomason Buddy Thomason is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willhunt
When selecting, or "cutting out" a knife from the background, I use the polygonal lasso tool, with no pixel feather.

Just wondering what everyone else uses, or if maybe I am I way off the mark.

Again, referring to the Polygonal lasso tool, I'm not quite sure that my settings are the best. The image looks OK to me, but I'd appreciate any input as to how I might "step it up" a notch.
I can see a couple of little places where your selection line was off just a bit. when you paste in the inset then create your drop shadow layer (layer - layer style - drop shadow) often the irregularities are highlighted. These can sometimes be eliminated quickly and nicely with a blur brush set to darken or a burn tool set to darken highlights, midtones or shadows, depending.

The polygonal lasso is a good tool. I use it at 0 feather. but I've totally switched over to the pen tool which creates a path that then gets converted to a selection. It's easier for me to get good lines and curves with the pen tool. All of your shots are looking really good.


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