The more I experiment with colored off-camera lighting, the more I find myself learning about light, shadows, and contrast in ways that I didn’t expect until now. This picture is similar in some ways to others I have been sharing recently, but also a radical departure into entirely new territory and one that gives me some interesting things to think about. Until now the overall theme for lots of my pictures has been light, light, and more light. Light from the front, light from the back, light on the sides…light everywhere, and in all sorts of colors. But when is it too much, and what happens when you go in the opposite direction?
That’s what I explored here, with my trusty Fuji X100F and a couple of pavotubes. As I try to apply the lessons I learned from my picture of an old cell phone, I wanted to see if I could create a shot that was more about showcasing an object rather than the lights and I think this worked out fairly well in that regard. Instead of looking at the entire camera, all you can see is the lens and a lever on the side which is used to switch between viewfinder modes. You don’t see any of the controls and dials on top, and much of the camera is also obscured due to the shallow depth of field. However, I think (and correct me if I’m wrong) you still do get a pretty good sense of what this is from a couple important clues including the circle shape, the reflective glass, the words “Fujinon Aspherical,” and even the number 2 at top which, if you are into photography, you probably recognize as an f/stop indicator. All of these were intentional choices on my part, and I think it worked out fairly well. Or, at least, much better than that picture of the cell phone :)
The one thing that really took a while here was the lights: where to put them, what colors to use, and how bright they should be. I ended up using two lights (one orange, the other purple) and holding them in my hands while moving them around slowly into different positions. I tried putting more light on various portions of the camera: top, left side, right side, and front, but ended up preferring what you see here with the far side of the camera showing a soft orange glow and the top of the adjustment ring with a bit of a purple sheen. It was much more subdued and contrast-ey than any of my earlier shots but also feels more intimate and even delicate at the same time.
Clearly I still have a lot to learn, but it sure is a fun journey :)