Interview: Knifetography – A Man With Many Talents

We independently review all our recommendations. Purchases made via our links may earn us a commission. Learn more ❯

If you lurk on /r/headphones, you must have seen /u/knifetography beautiful headphones pictures. A potent mix of audiophile gears and masterful photography often send his posts to the top of the frontpage. Recently, he spoke about his first-year venture into the audiophile world and we felt he will be a great fit for this interview.

Hi, please introduce yourself.

I’m just a dude who likes to collect things, enjoy them, and photograph them.

Can you tell us about your audiophile journey?

Audio has always been a thing in my family. Growing up we had speakers in every room. The funniest being my mother’s subwoofer in the kitchen. My brother repaired and built speakers in high school and is now an audio engineer who is an artist when it comes to live music and large audio installations.

As far as headphones are concerned, at-home listening had never really been a thing for me since we were always surrounded by speakers. It wasn’t until last year that became a thing. We had a few older people move into the neighborhood (and next door) that started complaining about the noise.

I figured I would get a nice headphone setup and just switch to that past 9 pm. I did a lot of reading on audiophile gear and sought advice from people. Though I kept that to a bare minimum because once you start to get too much advice, you end up never being able to decide. I just made sure to buy from places with a good return policy.

My first setup was the Fostex HPA4BL and AKG K712 Pro. I really and truly could have stopped there, but that is just not my nature.

I like collecting and I love music, so this hobby was a no brainer.

What is your current setup?

I have a lot of gear, but my RME ADI-2 DAC, iFi Pro iCan, and iFi Pro iESL stack are what I am listening to 90% of the time. The headphones on my ears the most would be my Focal Utopia, Sennheiser HE-60, HD 800 S, TH900 MK3, and Argon MK3s.

Your pictures are amazing! Are you a professional photographer or has anything to do with photography at your workplace?

Firstly, thank you! My actual profession is a technology consultant, but photography is something I’ve done for a long time now. I do it professionally and am financially compensated for it, but I only take on a limited number of photography projects. It’s not something you could open up a phone book and hire me for.

How long does it take for you to nail down the money shot? Do you spend a lot of time on planning and framing the shot?

All of my collection shots are taken at home (knives, audio, PC/Tech stuff) so I have a pretty good idea of what a shot Is going to look like before I take it. Surfaces are a big part of the way I have my house decorated, so there’s always something to put a pair of headphones down on to photograph.

I mainly use my cherry wood desk for audio shots. All that to say framing and planning don’t take more than a couple of minutes. The time-consuming portion is usually editing if I decide to do a selective color shot.

Those are my favorite as I find the editing process to be relaxing. There are times though where a shot just doesn’t end up working out and I scrap it if it takes more than 5 attempts to get it. It’s not enjoyable past that point.

What are your most favorite headphones pictures that you have taken and why?

I’m a texture person. Some of my favorite shots have lots of textures. I love the shot of my ZMF Eikons on my desk. The ash wood is just so appealing to the eye. Another would be the Focal Utopia. It’s a mostly blacked out headphone, but it’s deceptive. It’s got at least 6 different textures to it between the metal, carbon fiber, and plastics.

The TH900 Mk2 and HD 800 S also have their iconic looks. The TH900 for its distinctive red cups, and the HD 800 S for its unique, almost futuristic design. Gear wise, I love the display on the RME ADI-2 DAC, so that’s always fun to photograph.

The WA22 was a great one as well. Long exposure shots of the tubes are always so cool looking. That was a tough one to sell, but I needed the space. Lastly, my recent “first year” round-up shot of my favorite headphones. I had no plan for that shot. I just started stacking, then let the headphones freely fall into place.

Any advice for beginners who are getting into the audiophile hobby?

RUN! lol… But on a more serious note, just be careful. Getting too much advice can drive one insane. You must find the balance between not getting enough info and getting too much. I’ve seen people get advice from 20 different sources and ended up hating what they ended up with.

Getting too much advice can drive one insane. You must find the balance between not getting enough info and getting too much.

Try as hard as you can to go to an audio store, a meetup, or a trade show like CanJam. Hearing is believing. The advice of someone with completely different ears and tastes will only get you so far. Just don’t do what I did and try everything at once!

I have zero regrets about the way I went about it, but it is far from practical. Also, don’t feel like you need to find one headphone that does everything. Trust me, it doesn’t exist. I love my fun headphones (TH900 Mks2, Eikon, Argon MK3) just as much as my technical ones (HD 800 S, Utopia, HE-60).

Where can we go to find out more about you?

Most of my stuff is done on Instagram. My main page is @knifetography where I share my knife collection. I also have for PC and Tech, @inktography for tattoo related photography, and @artifacts for my more creative photo manipulation.

Leave a Reply