Sea Blue Lens

Be Still Weeks 38 and 39: Dark vs. Light


I have two Be Still lessons to post today. The first, from last week’s assignment, is a still life with organic elements, photographed with side light. Kim’s examples for this lesson were dark and moody, so I headed in that direction, too. I used one basic setup for these, varying the cropping but mostly just experimenting with some Lightroom presets in post processing.

Processed with Kim Klassen’s kk_organic, with decreased clarity and slightly increased saturation.

I bought this hand-painted bowl on a trip to the Grand Canyon about 20 years ago from a Native American man sitting on a blanket at the side of the road, selling pottery that he told me he made himself. It is stained with smoke inside and out and looks like it was fired in a campfire! It reminds me of my roots in the Southwest, as well as of that rather magical trip.

Processed with David duChemin’s Toxic Warmth preset.

The little lizard crawling out of the bowl is one of those little critters that are meant to be hung on the rim of a flowerpot. I don’t remember where I got him, but I do remember that I bought him just because he looked so much like the lizard painted inside the bowl. It amuses me to think they might be related.

Processed with kk_moody-ish

I found the nest when I was living in California a couple of years ago. The egg, which is broken open on the side you can’t see, I picked up here in Maine. I have no idea what kind of bird made either one. The stick and cluster of cones came from two unrelated trees in my daughter’s yard.

This week’s lesson is just the opposite: glass, light, bright, white, airy. For this one I tried several different arrangements.

Sea Glass

Vintage mason jars filled with sea glass, old linen napkin, backlit through lace curtains. Processed with kk_slightlight with clarity reduced quite a bit because I wanted that glow-y look.

Sea Girl

I’m afraid I can’t begin to tell you how I processed this one. I tried so many variations, including starting over several times,  that I completely lost track. I’m not thrilled with it, but it’s a whole lot better than what I started out with!

Home Comforts I

This is as it came out of the camera, plus Kim’s kk_touchof-1 texture. I like the soft, natural look of this one.

Home Comforts II

Here it is with with the same texture, processed with Kim’s kk_slightlight preset. It’s more dramatic and I like it, too. It’s so hard to make decisions about these things.

And that’s me caught up again and looking forward to the weekend! I hope you all have a good one.

15 thoughts on “Be Still Weeks 38 and 39: Dark vs. Light

  1. I love the sea glass in the jars and that last one is so lovely. What an interesting egg. I can’t say I have ever come across one like that.

  2. Oh, Leon, these are wonderful! You are so creative in your stilll lifes. I love how your combination of organic elements for the first one — the lizard make me smile. And the jars with the beach glass are just perfect — You’ve inspired me and I hope you don’t mind if I do a variation of yours. I found some beach glass from years ago and I’ve been wondering what to do with it. A photo of course! Have a warm weekend!

  3. I think you nailed both prompts…The dark blue really sets off the bowl and the other organic elements and I love the sea glass and the way the light hits the objects in that shot….

  4. I’ve just started the “Be Still” course, so I always like to pop by here and see what is coming my way down the road. Sure hope I can do it as good as you!

  5. Isn’t that birds nest just a marvel, how they can build such a functional home and a pretty home, a treasure for sure and your image is lovely organic. I think the egg is a quail egg, the same as in my photos this week. The quail are so plentiful here in the desert and they lay eggs every year in my patio pots then I get to see the little tiny chicks running around in my backyard. Such a treat every year. Love the image with the pink flower just gorgeous.

  6. I love your shots! I lean toward the dark moody but I’m ready for a little light bright these days. And I’ve been thinking abut shooting some glass lately too. Actually I’ve been thinking about taking a break and moving my blog to WordPress but I’m having too much fun shooting lately not to post stuff. (throw my hands up in the air) Have a great weekend!

  7. Lee, these are wonderful! I especially like the first set of images.
    Wishing you a beautiful weekend! xo.

  8. That little lizard looks seriously real. I hope he doesn’t get to the eggs! 🙂

  9. Love what you gathered and composed in the dark, moody shots! Love the denim fabric. It goes perfectly with the pieces! Beautiful light images, too! My favorite, of course, is the sea glass in the jars! Both things I really love and photographed so well!

  10. What lovely shots!! I love the one of the jar with sea glass–I have a jar filled with sea glass too!

  11. So many lovely images! I love the jar with the sea glass and the hydrangeas with the sea girl. I have sea glass sitting in jars and little bowls around my house, it reminds me of summer.

  12. I enjoyed seeing both these assignments in one post – the beautiful contrasts between the dark and light lessons. I too love the glowy mason jars filled with sea glass and light.

  13. Really like the dark & moody here.

  14. I find all of the posts from those of you doing classes very inspiring…I haven’t participated in an on line course yet. It makes me think a bit about what I could be challenging myself with. I love the see glass compositions too…very nice. Thanks for the technical info too.

  15. Both series are wonderful, full of mood and atmosphere. I like the different way you treat the different subjects.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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