Shooting Challenge: 59 Sharps That Blew Us Away…Who’s The First Round Finalist?

Shooting Challenge: 59 Sharps That Blew Us Away…Who’s The First Round Finalist?

It’s Gizmodo Australia Shooting Challenge prize time! There are some amazing photos in this bunch of Sharps entries, and we’ve selected the first of two finalists to go head to head in the final round! Check out these entries!

Note: This week’s Shooting Challenge is Editor’s Choice, which means the editors select the finalist/photo to go head to head against another entrant in the next round. Call for entries will be posted tomorrow. Also, there was a bit of confusion surrounding dates this week. Any entry that was submitted up until 10am AEST Thursday morning was counted.


Styled to look like the old Olympus Pen F from the 1960’s, the brand-new Olympus PEN E-P5 is a retro masterpiece. Packing the same 16-megapixel Micro Four-Thirds sensor from the beloved Olympus OM-D, the E-P5 is really something to behold. The new Olympus Pen E-P5 is slimmer and smaller than the OM-D, but retains much of bigger camera’s fantastic functionality.

The new, top-of-the-range E-P5 is also packing a high-resolution, 3-inch tiltable touchscreen on the rear with 1.03 million dots so that your image preview looks as gorgeous as the subject matter. Focus peaking on the E-P5 also makes an appearance, showing you exactly where the optimal focal point for your image is before you snap it. It can manage all this thanks to a souped-up new processor inside the camera that makes everything much snappier.

The E-P5 also packs better Wi-Fi connectivity than ever, with an app now allowing you to view, sync and shoot images remotely from a tablet or smartphone, effectively setting your photos free.

The new Olympus E-P5 is the perfect addition to your digital life, and we’re excited to give two away over four weeks to Gizmodo Shooting Challenge faithful. You’ll be playing for an Olympus E-P5 single lens kit, which includes the Olympus PEN EP-5 body in silver, with an Olympus M.Zuiko 14-42mm II wide-angle zoom lens. The prize pack is valued at $1199, and we can’t wait to give them away!

We had an amazing number of entries into this week’s competition and the race was close…but the winner is…


Sam Irving

Photo taken handheld with an Olympus e620 and f/2 50mm lens wide open. ISO 200; 1/4000s.

When looked at from afar, this thistle looked all nice and fluffy, but get a bit closer and it’s obvious that it’s much more vicious than that! I tried to get that in the picture – the bit out of focus is nice and soft, but as soon as the focus is sharp… so are the spikes!

Congratulations! You’re in the final between you and another reader to win the Olympus PEN E-P5!

Check out the other entries and discuss your favourites in the comments!

This Week’s Entries


Roger Stonehouse

This is a photo of the tone arm and cartridge of a record player. With this photo, I wanted to convey the theme not only in the subject matter, but in the photographic technique as well. I aimed for clean lines, strong contrast and defined edges. Staying in theme, I used the minimum aperture of f22 to keep as much of the picture in focus.

Canon 5D III 85mm f1.8 @ f22, ISO 320
Two flashes, both bare bulb. One to the right front, pointed at the ceiling (to create a big soft light)and one behind left, pointed at the turntable (to give it little edge).


Ashley Dowle

Stan The Stallion Had An Accident:
Having recently retired from racing Stan has been enjoying the easy life. In between being seduced for his prize-winning semen he grazes on kitchen tops finding the odd half tomato to munch on and supps from the frequently occurring pools of red wine that appear from nowhere. He felt that he’d made it, he’d achieved everything and would now see out his remaining days as a living legend. Then one day it appeared a divine being had other ideas and out from the heavens felt a rather sharp object fall upon his back. Stan at first didn’t know what had hit him but then he looked up from his new vantage point and could see his arse as he’d never seen it before. “My, what strong looking legs I have” he thought. Then he passed away. THE END.

I took this using my trusty Olympus E-PL1. I used a tripod once I got the angle and framing how I wanted then i used an off-camera flash to get the lighting right. I wanted Stan to be the in-focus subject but the knife needed to gleam in the light so it took some time to get the composition right.

As I was using a separate flash I was able to keep the ISO at 200 to avoid graining. The lens is a 45 to 200mm (micro four thirds) lens but kept at 45 which seemed to work best. I kept the aperature wide so i could blur out the background and emphasize Stan’s plight.

P.S. No animals were hurt during this production.


Gayan Hattotuwa

I’m a Ninja(don’t tell anyone)! I love collecting swords and old antique weapons. I got few samurai swords in my collection and I love them to death(my girlfriend used them to cut veggies). Here I’m playing with one of my ninja swords. Nothing more sharper than guy with a hoodie playing with his toys! I used a tripod to take this image and did bit photoshop to enhance that grunge look.

Canon 1100d
Shutter: 1/400
Aperture: f/14
ISO 3200 at 75mm


Wesley Walker

I wanted to show something that was both colourful and sharp. Having a love for primary colours, I got out the old red, yellow and blue knives. They were set too low so a sharpener came to the rescue (of course) to get them high enough for the shot. OM-D with 60mm macro on a tripod @ f8, ISO 800, 1/2 sec and a bit of brightness + contrast adjustment in PS. Done!


Nathan Wong

I spent the week thinking about things to fulfill the brief and ended up with this as the safest option. The other ideas included throwing a bunch of sharp and pointy items into the air and freezing them falling just behind my head or a fruit ninja type shot.
Despite how much I want a micro 4/3 camera i’m not willing to risk my life for it.
I shot this on my trusty 5d mk2 with my 20mm at iso 2000 1/80 f3.5 as I was preparing dinner. I think its up to 250 000 shutters and counting.
The meat was beautifully cooked.


Kate Williams

My dad has been teaching me photography and I read books about it from the library. He told me about this competition and at dinner we all talked about what is sharp in the house. We thought about razor blades but daddy’s blade was old and didn’t look good. So I went to shop with mum and got some new ones. I cleaned the outside table which has black smoky glass on top and used a spray bottle to put droplets on there. Then I put the razor blade on the table and sprayed it with water. I used the camera on a tripod to make it still and moved the razor blade to the spot that looked best. I cropped it slightly and sharpened it a little on the computer.

1. Canon 500D with 60mm macro lens
2. Irfanview
1 second
ISO 400


Sandy Burns

While Peter was out diving with sharks I raided his fishing tackle supplies.
100 new treble hooks made a great seaside decoration but it looked a bit dangerous hanging in our caravan annexe.

Fuji X100
f/2.8, 1/550 sec, ISO 200.


Peter Burns

Sharp things come in BITE size!
It was very hard to get a shark to smile at me but I was eventually able to sneak up on one.
Olympus TG-2,
F/6.3, 1/200 sec, ISO-200.


Rob Davis

At the end of the day, I admire my humble Cacti. Forgotten down the side of the house, it’s always reaching higher and dreaming bigger.

Camera: E-520 (my trusty 4th Olympus in 35 years)
Lens: Olympus Zuiko 42mm
F8 ISO 100 1/100th


Johan Kritzinger

Shot with a single speed light (I bought for $50 as it was broken – I fixed it!) off camera set to 1/32 right behind the cactus. On the camera I set the aperture to the smallest I could to increase depth of field. The 24-70 lens right at 70mm and as close to the subject as possible. I’m really hankering after Olympus because it’s expensive renting cameras!


Rob Jones

I used this craft scalpel to carve a shipping box into a light box for photography of small items. It’s a wicked sharp blade, but my Olympus pen-Mini could be sharper 🙂

Olympus Pen-Mini
14-42mm lens
Focal length – 14mm
ISO 500
White balance – Auto
Scene/Mode – Creative programme


Deborah Fitzpatrick

Sanyo E-10.
Exp 1/954sec.
ISO 200.
Photo of knife taken on the kitchen sink with shadows . Has the effect of an illusion of knife sliding down stairs. Shadow of knife on sink gives the illusion of another set of darker stairs. Cutting marks on sink shows sharpness of knife.


Craig Murphy

Though I would submit something different, this is a photo of the prop of my model racing boat. which has a lot of work done, hand sharpen (probably the sharpest thing in the house 🙂 ). Photo was taken with my trusty Olympus e620 with the 11-22mm lens, ISO 100, f3.5, 22mm. and a little post processing in Lightroom.


Gabriella Skollar-Charnofsky

Here is my photo of a hand of an eastern hoolock gibbon, Phy Gyi with her “sharp” finger nails…
Phy Gyi lives at the Gibbon Conservation Center (GCC), and organization dedicated to the conservation of gibbons.
When Phy Gyi came to the GCC in 2011, she was wild and dangerous, and she didn’t trust people. Phy Gyi, like all the gibbons from the pet trade, has a sad story. Her parents were shot and killed in the forest. She was then captured and sold for the pet-trade. Luckily she was rescued and moved to the Yangon Zoo. She is getting used to living at the GCC, and we work hard to gain her trust. She is an excellent mom, and just the perfect mate for Arthur (She keeps him in place). In the summer she loves sitting in the fog of her mister, while her hair curls up and the water drips off her arms. For more pictures check out our website and facebook page.
The photo was shot on August 9, 2013, 7:09:27 PM, with a Nikon D40, Focal lenght: 300, F number: 5.6, exposure program: 3, exposure time: 1/400, lens: AF-S VR Zoom-nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, Iso:200,


Andrew Miller

Sharps is a good topic, lots of ideas here, but I stuck with my first as I enjoy playing music and I’ve always got this guy on hand.

Shot with:
Canon 550D
Stock 18-55mm Lens
ISO 100
focal length 55mm

Lighting in my apartment is pretty poor, so I created a ‘mini-set’ with an A3 piece of paper, gorilla stand, 2 phones with flashlight app and a slightly out of tune guitar. It seems like a bit of over kill but its a good way to learn about lighting, and how difficult it is to get right (this is not great).


Anthony Edge

Lounge room, kids’ bag of balls (after their bedtime), two bedside lamps, one Sharpie marker (naturally). This idea came straight to me when I read your challenge. It was much harder to execute than I’d imagined! Thanks for inspiring me to give it a shot though.

Equipment: Canon 60D, Tripod and Canon 18-200mm EF-S lens. As you’ll see from the EXIF data the body is still probably set to daylight savings time 🙁 … unless I can time travel?

ISO 250
Focal Length 100mm
Aperture f/5.4

Story: There’s nothing less threatening than a group of round, sleeping, coloured balls. So blunt and unassuming…


Michael Brooks

Coincidentally i just crushed a glass photo frame during moving house this week. this left me with a load of glass – perfect for the theme of this photo. i placed the glass into a glass bowl and shot it against a black backdrop with a light underneath. this gave the subject a darker grainier and sharper feel.


Ben Williams

1. Canon M with 22mm lens
2. Irfanview
1/200 shutter speed
ISO 400

“We were driving along the road in the countryside and we saw this sharp barbed wire fence so we got out of the car and we walked over to the fence. Because the camera wouldn’t focus on the little wire, my dad changed the camera so I had to lean back and forth until it got sharp. [manual focus! – editor] I had to turn the camera until the cows were in a straight line. At home I made the picture smaller by drawing a box on the computer to cut out the not interesting bits.”


Andrew Williams

Canon 500D + Canon 60mm macro lens
Paint Shop Pro X2

Settings used:
1.3 second shutter speed
ISO 100
2 second timer delay
RAW format

Story & technique:
I had the idea of balancing something on a knife to emphasize the sharpness and thinness of its edge. I found this little guy I had and tried blu-tac and glue but it couldn’t stick on. Then I tried cutting into his shoes slightly but that still didn’t stick. So I used some ‘Super Clear’ sticky tape behind his legs, going down and sticking onto the back of the knife. I trimmed the tape with tiny scissors so less of it was visible. However since some was still visible I used software to clean up all signs of the tape, plus did a few other tweaks like removing spots, scratches etc. So this image was done in-camera but used software to polish and tidy up the final image. The photo was shot using a tripod, with the knife on our kitchen bench, angled to catch the natural light coming in the window.


Alan Collie

Sony a57 SLT with the 35mm 1.8 lens, F2.8 @ 1/60 ISO 100 with on camera flash. After a ton of photos all looking the same I got this pic of a sharp knife piercing a strawberry that stood out. I liked that the shining edge of the blade stands out and draws the eye through the berry giving an impression of how sharp and smooth the blade is.



I’ve been reading a little about product photography lately, so I decided to give it a go. The sewing pins were ideal in providing the hint of colour I was looking for in this shot I used two mini LED torches for this two light set up. A few rolls of thread were placed in the background.

Canon 600D | Canon EF 100mm f2.8 Macro USM | LED torch |

0.6 sec exposure | f/9.0 | ISO400


Phillip Jenkins

For this challenge, I have shot an image of some sharp pencils. The pencils and lighting were arranged to emphasis the point.
Sony A65, SAL1650, 50mm, ISO100, f11, 1/60sec.


Elizabeth Franklin

“Pins & Needle”

With a nurse and an office worker in the house, this photo captures two “sharps” from the work place.

Photo settings:
Panasonic DMC-TZ11
Exposure: 1/15 sec


Jonathan Sander

Home alone all weekend, this is what happens when I’m left to my own devices 😉

Shot with a canon 5D and 40mm, f2.8 with a shutter speed of 1/30. Lit by a canon strobe, fired wirelessly from high-ish camera left.

I’d love to say I’m a tough sob but I shot this as 2 frames and then blended in photoshop.


Ian Pua

Camera: Fuji X100
Lens: 23mm f2.0 (fixed)
Shooting Mode: Aperture Priority
Aperture: F2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/40
ISO: 1600
WB: Auto
Shot handheld, using available light coming from a kitchen window (no flash).

Story: I was browsing this afternoon about the olympus e-p5 and saw your website. I am really interested in this new pen. Then I saw you have a photo competition. I immediately grabbed my camera and looked around the house for a subject. Then I saw the pork sirloin steak lying by the kitchen and pierced it with a “sharp” carving knife as you see in the photo. I shot it in BW to give it a more dramatic and 3d look. Hope you guys enjoy it.


Michael Chong

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, enjoying some sunshine and warmth (only in Queensland) in my local park after a morning helping out a friend creating a new profile shot, I remembered that there is a awesome photo competition done by Gizmodo with a super dooper prize that I needed to take a photo for (sorry for some shameless butt kissing). Already being in a park that is known for its rose gardens (New Farm Park, Brisbane) it seemed like a nice idea to work roses/plants into the theme of “Sharps”, but DRAT! it is winter time, and though the weather did not feel like it at all the usual blossoming rose gardens were merely thorny sticks protruding from the garden bed having been trimmed for the spring season around the corner. Well the main attractions was still available at least (thorns of the rose plant) and did what I could to create photo expressing the harsh, unattractive, dangerous side the rose that winter comes along.

The equipment i used was a Nikon D5100 with a 50mm f1.8 lens, free handed.
The photo was shot at 1/200sec, f1.8, iso100.


Russell Newberry

Canon EOS 40D 17-85 mm lens, handheld, ISO 640, shutter 1/640, f/5.6

For inspiration, I was trying to think of the sharpest thing I owned or had in the house, and remembered the thing I most often cut myself on is my pen knife with the stiff blade I always intend to oil…and never do! To try and enhance the contrast, I tried to capture the sharp element of the blade against the softest background I could through blurring. I was going to try and see what effect firing the flash on the sharp edge might do for a photo, but unfortunately the flash on my old 40D decided today would be the day it got stuck, so getting the pen knife out proved doubly useful as I used it to take apart the hot shoe and lever the micro switch open after some Googling of what the problem was!



Nikon D7000
Nikon 50mm f1.4 AI
Vivitar 2x macro-focusing teleconverter
Phone LED light

Taking the photo for this week’s competition was really fun. The second I saw “Sharps” as the theme, I immediately decided that I wanted to see if I could get a macro shot of my kitchen knife.

It was a really big challenge trying to get enough of the blade in focus, and I found myself having to go all the way to f/16 just to get the tip in focus; not to mention just lighting the scene was a challenge. I haven’t a torch light so I ended up trying to paint more light into the 10 second exposure with the LED light on my phone.

I think the photo turned out quite well and I love how the lense shows up all the imperfections and grain in what I would have described as a sharp sharp knife.


Rowan Murphy

Taken with my old Olympus uD500 5.0MegaPixel All Weather camera. Natural afternoon sunlight to highlight the blade. I tried to keep the text on the blade sharp, whilst not losing too much focus for the wet stones that the straight razor was resting on.
Hope you like it.


Wilson Lee

Canon EOS 7D, 24-105mm
f/5 1/100s ISO100


Matthew Cockinos

Drawing the sword is an art upon itself. It take years of practice just to perfect this one task. Like a stream that glides between the rocks of the river the sword leaves the saya without effort.


Riley Watson

Olympus E-M5 .45mm F1.8
These tyre spikes are located in front of the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne. I pass them everyday and wonder how much damage these things could actually do. How ‘sharp’ could they possibly be? I dunno about you but Im certainly not game to try.


Mirja Hynninen

I used my Olympus SZ-20 set on Program Auto (ISO 200). It was a cold afternoon and I wanted reflect the sharpness of the glass sails on glass behind glass.
It never ceases to amaze me that it takes extreme heat to create such a cold looking object.


Jamie Phommalysack

Trying to get the feeling of sharp past the pointy things and also trigger one’s other senses with the subject. In addition, pull the smell and taste into it while also drifting away from reality into a dramatic scene a little.
So I just picked up some things and with a firm grasp, let it click on the timer.
The dull colours and soft background hopefully contrast with the subject well enough so it points right into you. Even if it’s not sharp enough to cut something as a whole 😛
Shot with a Sony NEX-5R, Pentax 50mm 1:2 lens, f/4, 1/40 sec, ISO1600.


Cameron Campbell

My original intention was to take a picture of a sword I own, but after having a well overdue shave and almost cutting myself I settled on this image. Taken with my Samsung Galaxy Camera using the Macro setting, the only real colour in the image is the blue that is a sharp contrast against the white background. Don’t worry I used a clean, unused blade to take the shot. The image was taken in the natural environment of a razor blade, on the bathroom counter top.


David Sternes

Camera: Nikon D7000
Lens: Nikon 50mm 1.8 (with 36mm extension tube)

Shutter: 1/160
Aperture: f/8
ISO: 100

1 x SB-600 (At 11 o clock position)
1 x sheet of A4 paper to the right to provide smooth reflection

I love macro photography, and this contest was a good excuse to break out the macro gear. I went for the sharpest thing in the house (obviously, not having syringes lying around), which was a scalpel.

The trickiest part with macro is always focus. Depth of field is down to millimetres. I angled the blade so that the whole length of where it has been sharpened is exactly perpendicular to the lens axis, so it is all the same distance away (and all in focus). It’s interesting to note just how fragile the edge of a truly sharp object is. This is a brand new blade, and the nicks are from using a tissue to remove dust.
I placed the handle of the scalpel in a shifting spanner to hold it steady in the air. I deliberately lit it to show the grind marks from the sharpening process.
I love how when you look at something close enough, you see that precision is a relative term, as even the mirror finish of the blade appears to be imperfect.


David O’Connor

The shot is from the Brisbane Swordplay Tournament, at Baden Powell Park, run by the Australian College of Arms.

I was attending to support a fellow fencing student, brave enough to enter. In between his bouts, I managed to capture this shot of two fencers, with a rapier and cape versus rapier and buckler. By the time I captured this shot, the fencer in black had been disarmed of his cape, and was at a huge disadvantaged, as shown by the visible blade flex.

The equipment used was a Sony SLT-A57 with a Tamron 90mm macro lens, shot at 1/1000 sec with an aperture of f/3.5 at an ISO of 200.

This high shutter speed was necessary, due to the speed and force of the blows delivered on the day.


James van Veen

The x-acto knife was sitting on my desk next to me and I decided to have a play around with my camera, and well the results speak for themselves.
I particularly like the effect of the sharpened edge on the knife the lines that define the cutting side of the knife.
The photo was taken using a pentax optio VS20, a inexpensive super zoom style camera that i purchased for happy snaps and day to day photography, aside from leaving all the settings on auto the only option i had set was the macro focus which seems to have done fairly well although the end of the blade could have been in better focus. I have not done any editing to the photo on the computer except to change the JPG compression to get the file under the 3Mb limit.
The shot was composed by using one hand to hold the knife down on my desk and the other hand to hold the camera, thankfully the pentax isn’t very heavy and has very good anti-shake.


Jorge Archila

So we decided to attend the Ekka (Royal Show) here in Brisbane, which started this week. I took quite a few snaps, keeping in mind the shooting challenge, when we reached these restored horse carriages in one of the pavilions. They had amazing brass fittings and new leather seats, along with the woodwork which had super-accurate sharp pinstripes all over the frame, including the wheels. I tried different angles and areas of the carriage but ultimately ended with this multi-spoke angle.
I used my Canon 500D for the shot. Settings were 1/40 sec, f4.5, ISO400. Had to lighten it up a bit as it was dark inside.


Tony Giang

Just cleaned my Cold Steel Tanto after a hunting trip.

Shot with a Nikon D800 + Nikon 35mm F1.4G with the following settings:
1/60 sec.

The knife is propped up with a small padlock (only thing at hand), background lighting was a split-screened 30″ monitor, blank notepad on the left and family guy playing on the right 😀


Katie Abdilla

Shot at f/8, 0.6 seconds with my Canon 5DMKII
Not just your average knife photo, I thought I’d add just a little something extra to the image!


James Avedikian

I took this shot when I was out walking my dogs and thought it really sums up the scary roadside vegetation. The footpath is really narrow and cars come racing down the hill so you always have to watch your step. The photo was taken on my Samsung Galaxy SII Duos phone with lowest ISO possible. Specific details are:
Samsung SCH-i929
Focal length: 4.0mm
ISO: 100


Sooz Myhill

Well, I thought that I’d take “sharps” as perhaps not as literal as some… I’m a bit of a musical instrument buff and went for the most obvious sharp theme for me…to some they may be flats, but I look at them as sharps!

nikon d90 , Tameron 17-50mm 2.8

natural lighting

iso 800


Gethin Coles

I wondered what else was sharp other than blades and glass and syringes and I thought I know: LEMONS! Had an idea to shoot my cute 3 & 5 year old daughters pulling that sour face whilst eating a lemon, but the 3 year old actually likes them and munched away happily and the 5 year old wouldn’t go near it, so I had to do a selfie. This is what happens when you’re working at 9pm the day before deadline 🙂 D800 with el cheapo tamron 70-300


Rafsan Halim

Since I work in operating theatres all day, “sharps” for me means “hypodermic needles” and so, in between operations during a long day (extending past midnight!), I decided to get a few syringes and take this shot.

Now, getting actual Morphine is quite hard, so dilute coffee had to do the trick for the contents of the syringe dripping out.

I took a photo on my iPhone, but it was hard to focus in the dark light of theatre. I happen to have my OM-D with me that day so I used that to take this shot. It would’ve been nice to have the wifi feature on this camera so I could check the focus: this is the best of about 10 shots!

Camera: Olympus OM-D
Lens: Panasonic 25mm f1.4
Settings: ISO: Auto (200), f1.4, 1/4000s
Flash: none, but used the operating lights to brighten the image after the failed attempt with the iPhone!


Yugi Nair

This is Jason (I call him baldy and he loves it) , he is a grill chef at Mad Mex Garden City. He is also hearing impaired but that doesn’t stop him from being a ninja in kitchen. He is exceptionally fast especially with knifes. The reason why I chose him to be the subject for this theme is that, he has a very sharp and amazing peripheral vision which has proven to be extremely useful in a busy kitchen like ours. We don’t need to scream out “behind” whenever we rush through that narrow passage way carrying stuff. He just knows the exact moment we are passing by and takes a step to get out of the way. That being said his knife sharpening skills are extremely fast and I really wish I could upload the Zoe image I captured of him doing so, hence the single frame image. Image was captured during my break at work using my beloved HTC One and yes Jason loved being my model of the day.


Randy Tamayo

Six Degrees Of Sharpness

I have tried many of the disposable razor currently popular these days, including the battery operated, 5 bladed ones… but I reckon nothing beats an old fashioned double bladed safety razor… with 6 degrees of sharpness that can be dialed in – from ‘gentle’ to ‘aggressive.’

So, I gave my one a good cleaning, popped it on top of the bottom of my laptop and shot away with my mobile.


Rob Lacina

Pin Sharp

Since I’m always trying to get pin-sharp photos, I took the literal interpretation of this as my inspiration for the challenge.

Post-processing: Cropped, Levels Adjusment

Camera – Canon EOS 550D
Lens – 18-55mm + Macro Extension Tube
Exposure Mode – Manual
Exposure Time – 1/3 seconds
Aperture Value – f11
ISO – 100
White Balance – Auto


Monica Kehoe

Sword Knife! I bought this super sharp knife in Japan last year – I’m told it’s made from the same sort of steel that samurai swords are made of. It is not stainless steel though – an accidental trip through the dishwasher left it looking like this. Was seriously the best before that. Might just have to go back for another trip.
Nikon D7000, 50mm Nikkor lens, ISO 1250, 1/320, f2.0


Sam Karagiannis

Olympus E30
Olympus 35mm Macro
exp: 1/6 sec
ISO: 200
F-stop F/3.5

What is more classicaly sharp than a sharp knife?
This is my favourite knife, they are the ones they sell at the little stalls in BigW.. its sharp (as the scar on my hand would show) and i thought it was perfect for this photo competition


Martin Bacon

I love taking photos with sparklers and this challenge presented a good opportunity to try and incorporate them into the theme. My setup included two Global knifes and a sparkler in between them. It was hard to hold the knifes at the right angle and thank god for the timer function. Now I just need to think of an excuse to help explain the burn marks on the knifes 🙂


Chris Gobbett

Sharps – 4 of them here, in the key of E Major! (for non-music nerds, they’re the in-focus # symbols)

The piece of music here is Debussy’s Claire De Lune – an emotional, pretty, classical piece. It got stuck in my head after featuring in trailers for the PS3 game ‘Rain’, so I figured I’d get it *really* stuck in there by learning it for the piano… where it’s been sitting gathering dust for the last few weeks, waiting for some free time 🙂

Pentax K5, FA 50mm/f1.4 prime
1/100 F1.8 ISO400



I hope you appreciate this, because I’ve spent all afternoon on it, working through 4 lenses, 5 different lights, and numerous compositions. I don’t normally do ‘still life’ like this, so it took some effort (I want the E-P5!!)

Subject is a couple of my grandfathers wood planes, with the blade removed from one, for the ‘sharp’ part. They sit on a desk my father made.
I worked hard to get a reflection off the blade (I even tried using an iPhone ‘itorch’ app!) without casting too many shadows.
Other details:
– Olympus E-M5
– My sharpest lens – the Olympus 75mm @ f5.0 (I wanted the plane in the background in reasonable focus)
– FL-600 flash from overhead for main blade reflection.
– iPhone for shadow reduction to underneath.
– Eveready ‘Dolphin’ torch to eliminate one back shadow!

ISO 200, 1/160″. Some minor tweaks in Adobe Lightroom to reduce the brightness of the wood shavings, without reducing the reflective edge of the blade.

I hope you enjoy.


Dennis Apelt

So I got up this morning and was plagued by the thought of executing a water drop using a sharp instrument. Lo-and-behold this competition comes up! Anyhoo – my instruments of murder were the kitchen sink, a green chopping board and a pin I use for .. well uhmm, killing water obviously!. I was hoping to freeze the drop just as it touched the tip of the pin, but this is as close as it got before my patience finally gave out. You can at least see the fear in the drop as it races towards its imminent demise. Shot with my ageing Canon 20D (yes you can still take photos with 8MP – who would’ve thunk it!) using a 24-70 lens, 580EX Speedlite, tripod and a remote trigger (1/250 sec; 1/35000 flash duration).


Vid Clarke

I’ve been shaving with straight razors for the past couple of years and figured these are the sharpest objects I’ll probably ever lay my hands on…

More time, better lighting, a tripod / steady hand would all have been nice – not an option after a long day at work and a new born at home. I would have loved to have captured a really crisp shot of the light on the cutting edge, but settled for this warmer shot after many failed attempts 😛


Chris Maxfield

Photo of some of my Star Wars figures with Bib Fortuna showing off his knife in Jabba’s Palace. Tried with a few with them holding bigger knives but just looked unusual.
Taken with Nikon V1 with 10mm lens at f2.8