Lemon preserve jars

by | Blog, Uncategorized

Our supermarket had a stock of large, knobbly photogenic Lemons, which inspired me to use a few in a new still life.
I have no fancy lighting, I just use daylight from a side window with the Mediterranean shutters most people have, mine are both internal and external. I can direct the light by opening one or both part way, but the same can be done with curtains, you don’t need to have shutters!

I shot this in my little kitchen where the walls have their original gloss cream paint, which I expect has faded from its original white!
Before you go thinking “does this guy ever decorate”? I’d answer cheerfully that I’ve purposely left the original retro finish as I had photographic location shooting in mind!;-)

Back to the shoot, its just the fridge top, no need for fancy marble or stone slabs! The refection at first bothered me but in hindsight its added to this simple grouping.
During my scenic artist career in London I had a big scenic paint order to decorate several huge sheets of plywood for a famous British lighting catalogue. The eccentric photographer worked in a windowless WW2 Air raid shelter, his results were stunning, simply by wiring the wall lights through my sheets of scenically painted plywood and reflecting the light back with sheets of grubby white polystyrene, approx 2″ thick. Normally one side would have a coat of Black Matt emulsion, he used this to reflect black or negative light.. I digress, here I used two sheets of Polystyrene from my new LED monitor. No need to buy reflectors and you’ll help save the planet!
I shot bending down to the same low level, no tripod needed but probably would have helped!

The before shot shown has already had a few pale textures but unfortunately I didn’t save half the recipe but will give approximate percentages for the before state.
The original picture was perfectly focused, here I had purposely softened the image with Gaussian blur and painted out the blurred insides of the objects leaving the outside edges slightly blurred.

In the second half of the recipe I used Sisley, our dramatically ugly painted Linen texture in an unusual way, firstly it was desaturated to a dark blue, then It was used with the rarely used, Pin Light mode at just 11% I loved the bottom part but the top wasn’t showing so I flipped it vertically and softly removed the bottom half. A later layer of Creme Anglaise partly obscured this, but all the layers add up to form a kind of heavy impasto final effect.

First half recipe

Lime Wall – Soft Light @ 50% Approx – flipped vertically
Orange Blossom – Soft Light @ 50% Approx
Heather – Soft Light @ 50% Approx

Second half recipe

Sisley – Pin Light @ 11% Desaturated to dark blue
Sisley – Pin Light @ 14% Desaturated to dark blue, flipped vertically, the bottom half removed.
Creme Anglaise – Screen @ 47%
Base image copy – Overly @ 27% totally desaturated to B/W

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