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10 January 2013

Waiting for Wisdom
 Newsletter Introduction for Thursday, January 10, 2013

       -Posted by brandon-

What a strange breed, the pipe smoker. Modern stereotypes create some pretty spectacular imagery. I must admit, I can be as guilty of it as the next guy. It's quite easy for me to picture a gentlemen sitting in his weathered evening chair, pipe clenched in mouth, scotch in hand, contemplating his next sentence with great care as plumes of smoke roll around his face, almost as if the pipe and man were one. As I think on this image, I feel a certain level of dismay. I hold my breath, waiting for the wisdom of the man's next words which are about to be bestowed upon me. The suspense is nearly unbearable. But then I quickly remember this man doesn't really exist. He's a figment of my imagination. Not all pipe smokers are great philosophical men of character with limitless patience and wisdom. Some of us are still working to achieve such honorable attributes. However, all of us have a responsibility to uphold that spirit.

You see, it has taken generations of pipe smokers' deliberate contemplation regarding every word they ever spoke in order to create such imagery. It has taken generations of pipe smokers filling their minds and hearts with knowledge and life lessons to be able to own such wisdom. It has taken generations of pipe smokers living lives of honor to give the pipe smoker such a respect in society. That being said, remember pipe smokers, we have a responsibility to not destroy that which was built on the backs of those before us.

So while you weigh your responsibility as a brother of the briar, take a look at the quality briar we're offering up on today's update, including new pieces from Latvian carver Sergey Senatorov, along with pipes by L'Anatra, Randy Wiley, Winslow, Cavicchi, Peterson, Savinelli, and Brigham. We've also seventy-two freshly restored estate pipes from all over the world going up on the site today.

I should also mention we have a special treat. We're very proud of our photography team and the job they do in bringing you vivid and descriptive photographs of every single briar and meerschaum pipe we sell, and the always creative Kathryn Mann has created a short video of the guys at work.

Brandon Bellegarde: Pipe Manager

 Brandon Bellegarde: Pipe Manager








Posted by brandon at 3:22 PM | Link | 1 comment


Video: Photography and Videography at Smokingpipes.com

       -Posted by kathryn-

Currently sitting on my desk is a beautiful piece of art. It happens to be a Danish Estate crafted by Tonni Nielsen, fresh from estate restoration, and scheduled for today's update. Though I could write a thousand or more words about this Bent Brandy, its fine-looking grain and exotic wood accent, there are times where words simply fall short. That's why the images on Smokingpipes.com are so important. Although text relates information not outwardly visible and gives a little historical context for brands and pipemakers, it is the photograph that best describes -- and often sparks an infatuation with -- a pipe.

Our photography and videography team: Peter Kogler, Katie Ranalli, Chris Johnson, and John Sutherland have perfected their craft. For each update, they have less than three days to capture and edit photos and video for an average of 200 pipes. Additionally, many of these pipes get multiple photos from various angles -- all told, the gang takes well over a thousand photographs each week. Great pains are taken to ensure that what is seen on the web is exactly what sits in the tray in front of them. The light cannot just bounce off the shiny finish of a smooth pipe, it has to illuminate the intricate details of the grain. The stain needs to be just the right shade, which can be difficult for some of the colorful pipes we offer. The silver needs to be polished, and the stamping needs to be as legible as possible.

Of course, all of this effort would be pointless if we used one photo to "symbolically represent" a category of pipes like many other online retailers. For us, that is not enough. The pipe you see is the pipe you get. We do not use stock photography. We do not use bulk photography. This means, if we get 10 Peterson Darwin System Smooth (B42) with P-Lip pipes, we photograph each one with the knowledge that, although they are given the same title, each pipe is unique. Isn't that part of what makes pipes so special after all?

I could tell you that these guys work really hard, and that each photo is perfection... but why not go with the theme of this blog post and show you? It is for this purpose that we have stalked them with cameras and created a short video illustrating just that. So, without further rambling from myself, please take 2 minutes and 40 seconds to witness the endless work the guys and gal do to make the Smokingpipes.com update stand out.

 

Kathryn Mann: Social Media Liaison Kathryn Mann: Social Media Liaison








Posted by kathryn at 12:07 PM | Link | 6 comments


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