Nick -Of these three the top one (Purple gelled light on face) seems to work best. Lots of mystery and makes you wonder what the subject is looking at. Second one is hard to understand other than being a reflection. The third one needs more work to be interesting & worthwhile for the eye to see. Keep working with light...that's the beauty of studio work...you have control of so much more than you might have on the street. You must be brutal with yourself: working is critically important. Talent will take you only so far.
Nick,I agree with Phil that the person shot is the best. Not that everyone should photograph with a gel, but it certainly works here. The needle shot looks better when enlarged--the needle appears more prominently. The problem is the tip blends into the background somewhat. Some sort of a reflector might have helped. Not to add more light but to give the needle a string of light to break from the table. That, and maybe another 1/4 inch of sharpness. I'm a little confused by the orange shot because the blender's blades are in focus, but the eye is pulled by the orange. Should we look at the orange or the blades? I like the color but not the competition. A greater range of depth of field might have resolved this problem.
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