How to Create a Still Life With a Bit of an Edge!

*This is a guest blog post by David Hayes using the apps: iColorama and Snapseed

I am currently taking a still life online workshop where the instructor has a preference for things like white flowers in a vase against a white wall…that sort of thing. So…during a recent lesson I decided to give such a set up a try and after editing the image per the workshop instructions…I worked the image my way! I’d like to share my workflow with you in this article.

still life
In this screen shot you can see how I set things up for my shoot: white rose, vase, white background, a bit of shadow. The first app I used is iColorama, one of the best all-around editing apps out there. Once loaded, I clicked on “Form” to bring up the editing tools.

still life
Clicking on “Crop”, I used the “1:1” preset and positioned my image using rule-of-thirds and negative space in mind.

still life
Next I went to “Style” (A) and the “Painterly” (B) tool box. I then applied “Paint” (C) preset. Now I have my image with a nice painterly feel.

still life
Painterly yes, but not edgy which is what I wanted! So back to “Style” (A) and “Edges” (B)! In the presets I used “6/17” which knocked back the edges a bit more and put in some nice defining lines.

still life
Time to do adjusting to the exposure to punch out the lights and darks of the image. Clicking on “Adjust” (A), I activated the “Exposure” (B) tool box. Using the sliders along the bottom (C), I played around with Brightness, Contrast, and Exposure until I was happy with the look.

still life
Here’s what the image looks like so far. I liked it…but just needed a little something to finish. So it was off to my “closer” app – Snapseed.

still life
Once in Snapseed, I naturally went to “Tune Image” and did some more adjustments to contrast, brightness, and the like.

still life
After trying out a couple more ideas using “Drama” and “Grunge” I decided to see what “Center Focus” would do for the image.

still life
While the default for “Center Focus” is “Portrait 1”, I went with “Portrait 2”. I also used the control panel to adjust the Blur as well as “Outer Brightness” and “Inner Brightness”. This gave the image the feel I was after! Not a soft and quiet still life, but something a bit darker and edgier!

still life
The final version! I call this “Reality”. Oh and if you want to see the soft, quiet version you’ll have to go to my IG stream: @clearerreflections to see it!

*David Hayes is a photographer, mixed-media artist, painter and explorer of life. Visit his blog at clearerreflections.com.

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