Chasing Rays Blog

Miniature Samurai Swords

Miniature Samurai Swords

For a long time, I practiced the martial arts. And, whilst I’m now a bit too old now to really continue with the practice, for a long time they were a major part of my life. I’m still interested, even now, and hence this short post on these miniature samurai swords.

For those who might be concerned about the issue of bladed weapons, I should stress the word miniature. These are not even letter openers!
"I’m still interested in the martial arts so hence this post on these miniature samurai swords…"

Their crafting is excellent; however, I should point out that the steel is not folded, would break under a blow any heavier than a fly landing on them, and will not hold an edge.

They are, in short, absolutely useless as letter openers, let alone as weapons.

Now that that’s over, I’ll continue to the lighting setup. The swords were placed on my black Perspex base to give the high gloss reflection, which was placed about three feet in front of a white backdrop. I illuminated the area of the backdrop behind the swords with a diffused, daylight-balanced LED video light to produce the circular highlight.

The main light was from a softbox, lit via a radio-triggered speedlight, which I held at a high angle overhead and slightly to camera left. The idea here was to leave the swords mostly in silhouette with only their top edges illuminated, just to give a suggestion of their shape.

You will, of course, have noticed the small cherry blossom. Why is it there, even? Well, this is a small nod to the idea of the samurai and – for wont of a properly appropriate term – their code of conduct, the bushido. For those in the know reading this, code of conduct singularly fails to describe the very core of the way the samurai lived their lives, so I make my apologies for this. But I digress.

The purpose of its presence is that the samurai considered it the greatest of honours to die at the most perfect moment of their lives, at the height of their prowess – just like the moment when a cherry blossom falls from its tree. This is my small, perhaps inconsequential, show of respect for a very brave class of people.

The cherry blossom needed just a kiss of light to make it stand out, as provided by an angle-poise LED lamp clamped to the side of the table the setup had been placed on.

So, a small acknowledgement of the bushido and the small attempt I made at following it many years ago. I hope you like my efforts.

And, thinking of these miniature samurai swords, perhaps it’s time for me to look once again at the martial arts, and start to practice Tai Chi.

All the best,

Chasing Rays Photography.




Hardware Used


About the Author

Mark Watkins

Mark WatkinsI've been a photographer since 2006 and a computer fanatic since 1995. I hope to share my passion for photography with you through the products and services I offer through my website. See me on Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInView all posts by Mark Watkins →

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