Tag Archives: knives

End of an Era: This Blog Ends Here

While speaking at the 2014 CITE Conference about the way that blogging has changed my writing style, how this blog has reached over 100,000 views all over the world, and what topics I have written about, I realized that now was the time to end the blog. Maybe it is that I have changed, maybe it is that the theme of If Not Now, When? has become removed from where my life is: I fulfilled the expectations of doing whatever I wanted over these past five years, and I have translated that into an amazing life in an amazing world. My reality is that the now is constantly in play, and I have the momentum to continue to the end without looking ahead or behind.

For this final entry I wanted to write a summative piece; I have avoided writing for the past two weeks to ensure that what I wrote was strong. In the end, I decided to reflect on the people who I have met in the past two years, and who changed what I knew to be true. Each one is a creative genius, an artist, connects deeply with my photographic work, and is an inspiration to work with. First…Graeme Cameron of Base Camp X.

Wendigo Blades

I met Graeme through a series of random events. Over two years I have shot about 200 images for him. His tools are beautiful, rugged, and connect to an inspirational narrative. I now own four axes, two canoe paddles and a few lethal, zombie-worthy knives, and I am always impressed by what he pulls out of his bag at each photo session. This week had me photographing his new series of Wendigo Blades, a slingshot, and a few clothing items. These new blades, especially the middle size, are prime examples of tools that not only make sense to own, but also feel like an extension of your body. The work I do for Graeme is personal, and money never changes hands; some work is simply worth the doing.

Darren EedensDarren Eedens

When I began going to to hear music two years ago, we came across a local banjo picker at Cameron House whose music became the soundtrack of our lives. Darren Eedens has since become a friend and continual inspiration. I seem to recall taking a few shots at a show at Cameron House, and then at Lee’s Palace. I never tire of the songs “Waiting For the Freeze”, “Darlin'”, and Footprints in the Snow”. Darren’s music inspired me to pick up my guitar again for the first time in years. I ended up writing and recording an album about my life over an intense three month period. I began going to hear music at local bars even when I was exhausted from work. I found the music in life again. I found myself in the places between a pint of beer and a steel string guitar.

Paderno Nature Pan

The third person who altered my being is the most important. She is the person I am going to marry. She is the person who awakened me from a deep slumber. She is the most talented, adventurous, and kind individual that I have met. Our life is full of joy and challenges, but the balance keeps us moving forward together, and I know that I have found the love of my life. She keeps me in the now. I care little about the past now, and the future is not as important as what we do in the present together. We move into our new house in July, and I am happy. What does this have to do with the photograph of me dragging a sled?

I chose this photograph because she took it, and it represents a full circle coming around in the past year when I took a similar photograph of her with Paderno’s first Nature Pan. That photograph was widely published, and represents the highest point of my success in commercial photography. Our life is filled with passion and art; I need for nothing while I have her by my side.

Anthony N. Chandler

So here we are. While I continue to work as an educator, photographer and writer, I do so now because the work offers artistic and personal opportunities. While I continue to travel the world widely with a summer trip to Bangalore and Paris, I have a deeper desire to stay close to home and America. Instead of writing for this blog, I want to turn my talents over to a novel that I began two years ago. In it, I bring the mythical sirens to life in magical world beneath the one we all know too well. The idea of writing a longer, fictional piece feels like a logical progression. Thus ends If Not Now, When?  and the rest of my life’s story begins now.

“Teach me to hear the mermaids singing…”

~John Donne


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.