working on better photos...


Here's a pic I have been working on today. This is my son's knife...I made it as a test version for the kith. he asked for it so i told him he could have it if he made the he did. best stitch job he has done so far...a bit shaky on the profile...but he's learning.

Any way fire away with picture critiques....

joes 1.jpg

Von Gruff

Being able to hold my KITH knife of the same pattern I can more fully appreciate what the picture is showing but the actual knife aside it is the pic that is the discussion point and it is very well composed with the only negative being the shadow behind the spine has softened that particular aspect of the knife and the shadow of the handle and lanyard taking away from what would otherwise have been a good picture.
I just bought a light tent that takes all the shadows away from the pictures so maybe you could find something similar. This was like US$15 and is a reasonably big box to allow for arranging knife and background inside. 80 cm is 31 1/2 inches cube
Light box.jpg

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
Ted, I agree with Gruff that your lighting is insufficient to do the knife and sheath justice. It’s not only the amount of light lacking, but the quality of the light is not good.

Are you familiar with color temperature? The light source will impart a tint to the color of your photos. Fluorescent lighting is especially bad for this.

A light tent will help a lot, but you still have to light it. You can use regular lamps but the bulbs should be “daylight” color balanced. Soft white looks horrible and yellow.

Lighting can get extremely technical. For now I suggest a light tent and daylight bulbs. A piece of white card stock between the camera and the knife will keep your camera from reflecting in the blade as well as throwing shadows on it.

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
Where you position your lights has a big impact. You want to fill shadows, not scorch the knife LOL. Two lights minimum. One from over and just behind and one low from the side is a good start. Then play around with placement for effect.


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John Wilson

Well-Known Member
Without artificial lighting, a good window works well. You want “open shade” not direct light.

Shadows adds depth to a photo. If the light is too direct, that is called “flat lighting”. Think ebay pics.

Brightness is often the enemy of shiny stuff. Try some muted (darker) pics for mood.


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Thanks John! I picked up more lights today and a white translucent paper/ cloth froom the fabric store...I'll be playing all weekend.

Yesterday I downloaded some simple photo editing has already helped a bit. I know lighting is the issue right now...

Nice lil slippy in them pics...


One simple thing I did was bought a cheap shop light. Those aluminum things that can clip or clamp on. Put a daylight bulb in it and then duct taped tracing paper on the front of the light assembly to diffuse the light. It is not a total solution but it did help a lot. Diffused light like what you get outside on an overcast day is better than direct light.


Lights matter. I have spent hours just moving lights around and shooting pics just to learn from it.
That's what my experimenting is showing....probably THEE biggest issue to tackle....I have room indoors and want to make a permanent setup. Cameras (and Ted) don't like long photo sessions outside...