7/365: Shaving Kit7/365: Shaving Kit

Yes, I shave on occasion. When I do, I prefer a deadly weapon. Today's photo is a study in sharpness. Hit the jump for more...

Shaving with a straight razor kinda feels like stepping in a time machine. Yes, the whole process takes a lot longer than a quick twice-over with the Gillette in the shower, but these digital days, I need every reason I can get to slow down and take my time with something. The whole process is meditative; the hot towel on the face to soften the stubble, the lathering of the shave soap with the boar's hair brush, the stroping of the razor, back and forth, back and forth, ad infinitum or 40 times, whichever comes first...the pulling of the face to stretch the skin, the first ginger touch of razor steel to skin...the unexpected hiccup, the almost imperceptible severing of the jugular, the geyser of blood onto the mirror, the panic, the fainting...

You may notice I wear a thick beard most of the year.

In all seriousness, I love shaving with the straight razor, but in general, I don't really like shaving. I need every reason I can get to slow down and take my time with something, like the weeks or months it takes to grow a beard. Now there's a meditative process.

On to the photo info. This is the second day of my first sub-challenge to the blog: to light each pic I post for a month. I had mulled this pic in my head for a couple days, but as always, it was harder than expected and turned out different. I messed with various lighting schemes for almost an hour, hard direct light, soft light thru an umbrella, ring flash, bouncing all the aforementioned into the mirror behind all the goods...finally I settled on something I kinda liked: one Canon 580EXII in a shoot thru umbrella high camera left. Makes nice specular highlights in the blades. The mirror at the top of the frame effectively makes that first light into two lights, and you can barely see the double shadows. A second EXII is in an Orbis Ring Flash, in the usual ringflash place, around the lens. This fills in the shadows cast by light 1, and gives everything a sweet punch. I had the light right, but wasn't sure about the measured composition. 


This is what I had originally intended: a stylized still life, like a display case almost. I still like it, but when I showed the wifey the two versions, she much preferred the more 'candid' shot. I'm still not sure, but I trust the little lady. What do you think?