How I learned to stop worrying and light my cube

Published December 26, 2010

Remember a while ago I was blogging about my Rubik’s Cube? That is still in progress, by the way, but I am in the same predicament I was before - keep trying to achieve something but messing it up and finally scraping back to having just one side complete. At some point I will just go ahead and buy the book to attempt to move on, but I am not willing to admit defeat just yet.

Rubik’s Cube

Anyways, I posted this most excellent photo of a Rubik’s cube in shadow. A few people asked me how I did it, and as I was wanting to blog about the tools anyways, this seemed like a good opportunity.

The first requirement is lighting. I took the pictures just on my desk, and that means putting up with the slightly orange room lighting that comes from a regular lightbulb. That wasn’t really exciting enough, but Mr C had just the toy important piece of equipment to get the job done. A GorillaTorch. GorillaPods are camera tripod things that can grip their way around anything. A GorillaTorch works on the same principle. Quite grippy, quite bright as well.


With the excellent Torch casting all the right kinds of shadows, I was left with a nice photo of a Rubik’s cube.

Rubik’s Cube

To make it a tiny bit more special, I took one extra step. Mr C had told me about Plastic Bullet a long time ago, an iPod/iPhone app that adds a few filters to your photos to give them a different look.

Rubik’s Cube

It is amazing, and incredibly simple to use. All you have to do is open up the app and it gives you the choice between fiddling with photos from your library, or snapping something then and there with the camera.

Once you have a photo selected, it applies varying filters. If you like what you see you can save them, and you can send them straight to Flickr. If you’re not a fan of the four options, you just have to hit refresh and it tries again. The app plays around with sepia, with vignettes, with black and white, with various scratchy looks, and it just keeps on coming up with options until you find one that you like. I absolutely love it.

So far I have only really used it on the photos of my Rubik’s Cube challenge, and I can see that it would be easy to over-use the app. It’s addictive to use and looks great, but you can always have too much of a good thing. However, to make what is essentially just a square with crazy colours on look a heck of a lot better, Plastic Bullet does a great job.

Now, if only I could find out how to finish off the cube, I could try photographing something else instead!

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