Photos: gun with knife -- why?


February 18, 2003, 09:04 AM
Please enlighten me. Why are there so many photos of guns posted with a knife in the picture?

Is there a specific aesthetic in weapon photography that folks are adhering to?

I'd appreciate a thoughtful explanation as I'm genuinely curious about this.

Thanks in advance.

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Marko Kloos
February 18, 2003, 09:14 AM
There has to be a knife in the picture when you take beauty shots of a handgun.

It's either in the Constitution, or somewhere in Deuteronomy, I think.

February 18, 2003, 09:19 AM
I first noticed it in Ichiro Nagato's work in American Handgunner. I like my knives, too, so it's a cool way to get both in the picture.

Plus, I think it's a misdemeanor offense to take a picture without the knife...

Baba Louie
February 18, 2003, 09:23 AM
Its the old Mutt and Jeff thing.

Think Fred and Barney

Lucy and Ethel

Abbot and Costello

Penn and Teller

Lewis and Martin

Sides that, its unAmerican to Not have both... they comfort each other


February 18, 2003, 09:24 AM
OK, Tamara, thanks. I guess I've been missing some demeanor by not puting my little pocket knife in my gun photos. <G>

Don Gwinn
February 18, 2003, 09:49 AM
Guns are neat. Knives are also neat. Put them together, and each synergistically increases the neatness of the other. Soon your picture is three times as neat, not twice.

February 18, 2003, 10:00 AM
Call me sexist but I would prefer a babe myself.

February 18, 2003, 10:00 AM
Many a knife are carried with the handgun they're pictured with.
It's like putting a couple spare mags in the photo..
They are tools which simply go together.

February 18, 2003, 10:56 AM
Do you question movies & popcorn, peanut butter & jelly, steak & potatos or mom & apple pie. Guns w/ knives are just photo karmic bliss :D

February 18, 2003, 11:05 AM
Simple. It looks cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 18, 2003, 12:38 PM
I have always assumed it's because the magazine publisher wants to sell more advertisements for knives.

February 18, 2003, 12:52 PM
IMO there has to be a common theme. The gun has to match the knife in its own way.

The firearm says something about the shooter, and the knife just adds more. As Oleg once told me, you can take a good photo of anything, but what message are you trying to get across? Each photo I take has to have a story behind it.

I've taken my photography much more seriously ever since I heard his spiel (twice ;) ) about equipment, tactics and logistics.

February 18, 2003, 01:23 PM
It's basically just a convention now.

I don't have anything against knives at all, but I know when I drop five bones on a magazine called American HANDGUNNER, it cheeses me a little bit to see an eight page article about how Bill Wilson's kid is God's gift to knifemaking or some crap like that. Stick to guns, guys.

February 18, 2003, 01:42 PM
The knife makes the guns look......badder?

February 18, 2003, 07:30 PM
Goes back to first days of photography. Adoration of military men/lifestyle.

In US, Civil War & Western photos always had men showing both their guns & knives. Take a look at portraits from that time & you will see a share of Bowie knives (& revolvers) being brandished.

February 18, 2003, 11:41 PM
Where does my knife spend 99.9999% of its life? In my POCKET! So the only time its seen is in a picture. It needs to get out to breathe every so often. :D

February 19, 2003, 01:28 AM
Peanut Butter & _______

Gun & _______

The answer is out there.

February 19, 2003, 02:12 AM
Guns & butter? :D

February 19, 2003, 02:13 AM
Well, I think PB and jelly, and, possibly unfortunately, guns and ammo. :)

February 19, 2003, 03:33 AM
You should always take a gun AND a knife to a Gunfight thats why:neener:

February 19, 2003, 05:02 AM
I think partly it's just because it looks cool. which it does, and I won't try to fault people for it, because I agree it looks cool.

I also agree that it goes with the theme. guns and knives tend to go together. people who like guns tend to like knives, too. people who carry guns tend to carry knives. they're both useful tools, and one of their common tools is defense.

I also think it's sometimes used to portray some scale. it helps to give a mental image of the size of a gun relative to something else, even if there is no standard for it. kinda like showing a guy or a chick in a car photo; you don't know how tall they are, but you get an estimate for scale due to the additional measure.

El Tejon
February 19, 2003, 07:04 AM
Same reason people buy all kinds of goofy stuff--coolness.

Freedom doesn't have to make sense (fortunately).

February 19, 2003, 10:33 PM
to see how much steel the glass on your scanner bed can handle before it gives out! :D

February 19, 2003, 10:45 PM
It's a "yin & yang" kind of thing. Who's ever held a gun with a sharp edge? Or held a knife that went bang! ? See...makes perfect sense now, doesn't it? :neener: geegee

February 20, 2003, 12:18 AM
BigG: Sexist!

;) I am nothing, if not obliging....


Don't be sexist. Broads hate that! -- Archie Bunker

Art Eatman
February 20, 2003, 07:38 AM
The gun puts the critter on the ground. It does a lousy job, howsomever, in guttin', skinnin' and butcherin'.

I figured this out a long time ago. Listen to me: A knife does a much better job of g/s/b.

:D, Art

April 16, 2003, 03:27 PM
... 'cause guns n' knives are :cool:..

John G
April 16, 2003, 03:42 PM
Didn't someone post a picture of a Glock with a pizza cutter? That is one of the few times I actually did "laugh out loud."

April 16, 2003, 04:52 PM
i dont think my kershaw rainbow leek will match any of my guns though.
heres an old pic, soon i'll get all my toys out for the camera.

April 16, 2003, 05:29 PM
I don't know...

April 16, 2003, 05:31 PM
Never through much about it...

April 16, 2003, 05:32 PM
Seems silly now that you mention it...

April 16, 2003, 05:33 PM
Might have to try it someday...

April 16, 2003, 05:35 PM
Just need to pick out a combo to photograph... :p

April 16, 2003, 06:12 PM
Ok, I understand the gun & knife thing, but why do so many photos of handguns have a shotgun shell through the trigger guard?

And why do those crappy Harris Pub. magazines insist on photographing dirty guns with beat up ammo boxes?

April 16, 2003, 06:44 PM
Its the old Mutt and Jeff thing.

Think Fred and Barney

Lucy and Ethel

Abbot and Costello

Penn and Teller

Lewis and MartinBaba Louie and Quick Draw McGraw?

David Scott
April 17, 2003, 09:28 AM
Funny answers aside, the knife with the gun is the result of "product placement", just like when the lead character in a movie just happens to hold his Pepsi can so you can see the label -- Pepsi PAID for that. Gun publications, IMHO, do not maintain a proper "wall" between advertisers and editorial policy. The knife is in the picture so you'll see it and think about buying one.

The shotgun shell is in the trigger guard to prop the pistol up for a better photography angle. It's more on topic than a pack of chjewing gum or a tube of Perparation H.

April 17, 2003, 10:43 AM
This Gun/knife Pic thing has been going on a long time.

Just ask Mr Hickok...........

Wild Bills Gun/Knife shot (

April 17, 2003, 01:37 PM
Because they're all sexy ... :D

April 17, 2003, 02:08 PM
Why a gun with a knife?

Because a gun with a spoon would just look odd. ;)

Durnitall, here I am with a digital camera and several knives, but not a gun to be had.

April 19, 2003, 08:29 PM
"that's not a knife... this is a knife"

April 19, 2003, 11:03 PM
"I see you've played knifey-spooney before..."

lol... gotta love The Simpsons :D

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