Straight Razors and Knives: Burning the Candle At Both Ends



Max SprecherI am waiting for files to upload to my client’s FTP Server. It is almost 1am. I have been working like a crow with his ass on fire, and I see no quick end to that for the week. I have been running an hour a day for the past 5 of 7 days, shooting photographs for clients, and teaching like a madman as we enter our first real week back at school. I am not feeling much like Batman or Bruce Wayne at the moment – getting closer to Solomon Grundy, though, I think.

While I had my background set up, I thought that I would take a shot of my most recent straight razor purchase: a Max Sprecher restored piece in Transluscent Orange Acrylic. Sprecher restores vintage razors and brings them back to life with new handles and high-grade sharpening/buffing. His pieces sell out daily, and the quantities are very small for each unique piece. As a comparison, I included the Thiers Issard razor that I have been using for the past year. It is a little rounder on the tip, lighter and smaller on the blade and quite modern. The Improved Eagle Razor from Germany is from the early part of the last century. It arrived quickly from Vegas in shaving shape. The polish was glimmering, and it just felt like a tool worth the effort of procurement. The cost for both razors was roughly the same, and each has its own strengths for shaving. What I would like to pick up next would have to be a Baxter Blue Steel “Not A Replica” razor from California; blacked out and dangerous, it would go well with the others. I should not that since I actually shave with these, the blades do develop spotting due to the chemicals in the water of Toronto. Carbon and stainless are two different metals, and I do not mind the spots – character and patina, in my mind. I doubt your five-bladed Gillette Mach Five would look so good after a month. I will have these for the rest of my life, and I appreciate that.

My work tonight had me focusing on a series of white background shots for Paderno. They needed a quick turnaround for an upcoming flyer to promote this new series of knives made in Great Britain. The challenge with these images was to ensure that the overall look of my three photos matched the aesthetic of the box photographs, which were shot by another photographer who shoots in a completely different style than I do. The final shots turned out quite well, and I have included an unbalanced image that I used my ColorChecker Passport to correct the colours, tones and white balance with later. The final shot would be brighter and more vibrant with clear whites.

Soup. I am too tired to cook a real meal, so turned to Chunky Soup at midnight to get me ready for sleep (all 5 hours of it). The good part is that the soup was sufficient, that I am accomplishing a great many valuable goals, and that in another week I will feel stronger than I have all summer. Until that time…it will be tough sledding. Plug and chug; plug and chug.


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