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  #1  
Old 11-04-2009, 11:29 AM
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When to use a black background

Black (with or without texture) isn't suitable for every knife or every application. However, lately I found myself using it repeatedly. Examples:
1. 2.
3.

Clearly, black is often helpful when there is a lot of pearl in the handle. #s 1&2 show how friendly black is to gold (yellow). #s 4 and 5 below illustrate how black works well with very dark (even black) blades, handles and sheaths:
4.
5.

Black can also be helpful in establishing a "mood" as in #6 below. Note how the background influences the appearance of the metal. One may or may not choose to compensate for this effect by adjusting the camera's white balance (or with software in post-processing). In #6 I chose not to compensate in order to emphasize the night time mood in this yen/yang study, as opposed to the day light mood conferred by the white background.
6.

Black can be a good impromptu or 'emergency' background. In example #7 below I used my black fleece vest to shoot Joe Cordova's special gift knife made for Bill Moran (shot in Moran's shop).
7.

Please feel free in sharing your own examples, discussing the above images, suggesting situations in which black would be a less than optimal choice etc.


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Old 11-04-2009, 12:00 PM
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Very nice photos Buddy. Your work is always an inspiration for me.
Thanks for sharing!

God Bless
Mike


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Old 11-04-2009, 10:17 PM
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Black Background

Buddy, I made this knife about five years ago and took a photo with a black background. I think that with certain knives it really adds to the overall picture of the knife.
This is certainly not the best picture but the background makes the knife "stand out".

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Old 11-06-2009, 09:16 AM
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I agree, Cal. Nice work!


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Old 11-06-2009, 10:01 PM
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As I look at all of these images I'm starting to see one of the things a black background can do when you also have another layer between it and the knife. Then the trick is to work it out so that each layer is visually separated from the other. It adds tremendous depth and life to the image.



I don't mean to say this is the only good use of a black background, but it is one that really works well.


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Old 11-07-2009, 04:09 PM
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Dang Buddy, these photo's are so good. This last one, (Charles Weiss), does indeed have a 3-D feel to it, and I love the way that you used the lighting on the blade. I'd call it perfect... Best, Rich
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBSlaughter
This last one, (Charles Weiss) - I'd call it perfect...
Thanks, Rich. Alas, friendship is blind. It may or may not be perfect, but that's one I'm proud of. I drove all the way from Denver to Phoenix to shoot some Scagel knives that Charley's wife has, for the book. I agreed to shoot some of Charley's knives in a kind of trade. It worked out great. But the circumstances under which I shot this big knife were not pretty. I'd driven straight from Denver - can't remember but it was either 11 or 13 hours. Had all my photo gear and everything. Got to Charley's about 9 pm or so, unloaded and set up in a spare bedroom. Began shooting and worked all night. I felt like I was psychotic but Charley didn't seem to notice. Finished up and left at 11 am for Santa Fe where I crashed out the whole next day at a friend's. It was one of those 'just do it' opportunities. Books on CD - that's my secret.


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Old 11-18-2009, 12:15 AM
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Well, You're efforts paid off Buddy. It's a nice knife and you made an excellent picture. I really do think the way the blade was lit was perfect. (I know it when I see it, but from my end, I don't see it all that much...(grin..) I have several knives done using black backing and I post some here if you or anyone wants to discuss it further.. Best, Rich
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