Sharpen for New Years

Marty CohenFood Photography, Japanese New Year Celebration 20138 Comments


Before every New Years celebration with Japanese food, the knives need to be sharpened.

(To see the most detail in this image, click on it to enlarge it!)

We start every year as a family, preparing delicious traditional Japanese food for family and friends in Los Angeles. This New Year was no exception. For the past two years, I’ve posted some of our food photographs from the 2011 and 2012 celebrations. It’s a really fun time and the 100 or so people who come, enjoy the food and friendship. The family members and friends also have fun shopping for and preparing the many Japanese delicacies. Personally, I am always amazed by the beautiful presentation of the dishes.

The first, and one of the most important steps is to start with sharp knives. The fish, vegetables and sushi rolls require a sharp knife so they are not crushed while being cut. Jon, a close family friend, has been coming over for years, several days before New Years day, and he sharpens all of the knives. He’s a real pro at this and I wanted to photograph him in the process. He taught me a lot about knife sharpening while I was shooting the photographs. I chose to show this one because  it demonstrates his steady hands, skill and confidence in what he was doing.

My main job the last few years has been to photograph the food prep and display. We hope to create a book with recipes and photographs over this coming year.

The photo was taken with a Canon EOS 40D, EF17-40mm f/4L lens, 1/100 sec at f/4, ISO 640.

8 Comments on “Sharpen for New Years”

  1. The detail in this photo is beautiful. Great hands, love the contrast of stone against shiny steel, and the reflection in the blade. I really like this a lot. Definitely one to include in the book!

  2. It was wonderful to share a little piece of that celebration. There was such a skill and passion to his knife sharpening. It was interesting to hear how he can tell exactly who the knife belongs to based on the reflection and wear! Great photo.

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