For months now I’ve been staring at my chess set in the TV room, not playing with my 8-year old as I promised her I would do. I enrolled her in a chess club at her school a few months back and I felt a little guilty over not indulging her as often as I would like. I suppose I will call her up again for a game of chess (we’ve only played once or twice). However, when I occasionally look at the glass pieces as I watch TV, I think about what a good picture it would make with the lights from my big screen TV reflected on it. On a whim I took a couple of shots but it was nothing to get excited over. The shots were uninspired, boring and I was totally discouraged. I filed the whole thing away in the back of my head, hoping for an opportunity to present itself one day.
Recently I purchased by chance at a local gas station an LED torchlight for 6 bucks. It was a perfect example of impulse buying. I had no real use for it other than to keep it in the car or perhaps give it to my daughter. Powered by three AAA batteries, this little torch really illuminates! To my surprise, I saw that when you click it on after you turn it off, you get a powerful red laser pointer as well; two-in-one.
Sitting in my living room, being highly amused as the dog chased the red dot all over the floor, the light splayed across the chess set unintentionally. I loved what I saw and then an idea struck me like a bolt.
For the next two nights, I experimented with my camera, a wireless remote, a small tabletop tripod, my standard tripod, the chess set, the living room light switch and my new torchlight. I took an incredible amount of pictures, turning off and on the lights, moving the chess set for the proper and perfect angle, positioning the pieces to make it look just right, manually focusing and timing the shots with the remote as I set the camera to bulb. My only companion in my late night madness was the family dog as he chased the lights in the darkness of the living room, providing laughter (and the occasional tripping hazard).
After picking the perfect picture from the set, I made minor corrections in Photoshop and in the end, was totally pleased with my hard work.
I will admit that this is the first time ever that I’ve taken pictures to this extreme. Going beyond the normal, garden variety shots of birthdays, children, travel, family, etc., I want to start using my camera to experiment and to push my limited technical prowess to the extreme. I am still learning how to use my camera and I know I have a long way to go but perhaps one day I can start producing some really great images to share and perhaps (dare I say) call art.