You might be looking at this picture and thinking that it bears a striking resemblance to the photos I’ve shared here the past few weeks, and you know what? You’re correct :) It’s all part of the learning process though, and while on the surface this shot of a classic video game controller does share much in common with its predecessors, there are some important differences that illustrate how I’m continuing to learn when it comes to manipulating off-camera colored lights. Like a lot of my pictures, this one builds on what I have already learned while introducing some important new elements as well, and the end result is an image that, at least to me, showcases yet another step in the never-ending journey of learning to be a better photographer.
First, the similarities. I lit the front of the controller with a single Nanlite Pavotube that was dialed in to a specific color temperature rather than a HSI (Hue/Saturation/Intensity) value. That was something I learned when photographing the Wii controller, and I wanted to apply it here too. I wanted to have the controller be lit primarily with a normal everyday kind of light source, and then have other colors serve as accents. Also, the bright red buttons and words just didn’t look right when lit primarily with any color other than white. This setup also helped create a sense of depth by adding shadows to the buttons and the top of the controller, which were only there because of the specific placement of the primary white light.
The other colors in the scene borrow quite liberally from earlier shots too, with one key difference. In this composition I intentionally placed the orange and purple lights so they would also be reflecting off the surface of the washing machine–something I specifically worked to avoid in earlier photos. It didn’t even occur to me, to be perfectly frank, but once I saw the dynamic elements that the light reflections added to the image (a discovery I made purely by accident as I was waving the lights around) I thought it would be a great way to complement the controller. And, as far as I can see, I think I was right :)
I’m really curious to see where all of this goes. Will I just keep taking pictures of retro-themed objects on top of my washing machine, or will I find something new to explore with the lights? I’m really not sure, but I’m eager to find out.