Nolan Bushnell. A true captain of the seas.
If you spent any portion of your childhood growing up in the 1980’s like I did, no matter where you lived, there were a few cultural landmarks that anyone from this generation can immediately identify with. One such is the Atari home video console.
And depending on where you lived, another hallmark of being a child of the 80’s was a Chuck E. Cheese’s birthday party.
I had both.
So you can imagine my delight upon seeing Atari co-founder and Chuck E. Cheese’s founder, Nolan Bushnell on the speakers list at South Summit. To work with the man that was (in part) responsible for some excellent childhood memories? Are you kidding me? Yeah. THAT guy.
Not only providing hours and hours of entertainment and logic and reasoning skills, it just so turns out that Nolan Bushnell is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever had the pleasure to have a great conversation with. We met at a drinks reception in the gardens of the Liria Palace, where we talked about cameras, musicals, kinetic art, and some technical aspects of photography.
I then offered to Nolan that we meet up tomorrow to do a shoot. He agreed gladly, and I mentioned that I’d find him the next day.
Just after finishing a long round of press Q&A’s, Nolan pops outside to enjoy the Spanish sun, and spots me. He looks over and says, “Hey, what about we do that photo?”. That’s the kind of guy Nolan Bushnell is. I honestly believe that nothing phases this guy. He’s seen it all, done it all, and still wants to know more about it.
Probably a good trait for someone that gave Steve Jobs his first job.
Initially, thinking I’d like to shoot him with controlled light, to notice the fact that he was outside for a reason, there’s no way I was dragging this guy back inside when he has so little time that day. Armed with my x-t2 and 56mm lens, I found some natural shade and Nolan and I got to work.
He’s clearly no stranger to being photographed, as we pushed out at least 4/5 different looks and styles, ultimately presenting the image of Nolan above.
During our shoot, we continued our conversation from the night before, as well as discussing Nolan’s great love of sailing. Believe it or not, I even got a pirate song out of him. Perhaps there’s something to those who are more interested in being pirates than joining the navy.