Sea Blue Lens

Pastel Perfect


I love color. I love bright colors, flower garden colors, but I’m especially drawn to pastels. This week’s Be Still assignment was to create a still life featuring pastels, in honor of springtime and Easter. I thought about dying eggs, but it didn’t interest me much. And it would have required buying things — white eggs and dye to color them with — specifically for the photo shoot, which is against the “rules” I have set for myself regarding Be Still, to use what I already have.

Besides, I had other ideas. A couple of them.

The first was fashion, something that relates both to Easter and spring, right?

IMG_9881-2Pearls and Lace

IMG_9880-2Pastel Pretties

I used my desk chair for all the photos in this post. It was backlit by the living room window, with a linen curtain pulled closed to filter the light. Rather than spot-metering, I overexposed the images to compensate for the bright back light. Both of the photos above were processed in Lightroom with Kim’s “Pastelhaze” preset. What it did to the images felt like magic!

Well, now that I’m all dressed up in my Easter finery, how about a nice springtime tea?


I found this irresistible little bird creamer the other day, and thought he’d pair well with my porcelain butterfly teapot, and that they would work nicely together for this pastel photo shoot. (See how arbitrary my “rules” are? But I loved him in his own right, so I wasn’t buying him just for a photo prop; therefore, it was okay. Besides, he was less than $3. I love TJ Maxx.)

DSC_8952-2Tea for Me

Both of the tea set images were processed with Kim’s “Breeze” preset. It gave me just the soft, glow-y mood I wanted.

I have actually learned quite a lot because of my silly, self-imposed rules and other logistical limitations. They have caused me to think creatively about how to adapt Kim’s prompts to my own life and style, and to come up with solutions for space and light problems. And I love finding ways to feature and highlight some of my own favorite possessions. It makes me happy to see my old keepsakes and everyday utilitarian objects become art!

13 thoughts on “Pastel Perfect

  1. Such a pretty the use of the white chair….and the tea tray is just lovely.

  2. I was wondering about that don’t buy anything rule there for a minute, but under $3, that less than a chai latte at Starbuck’s, so I wouldn’t consider that a purchase of significance.

  3. Wow Leon I love all of these images simply because they are pastel and just so pretty! You captured some gorgeous back light with the finery. I’ve never really said it but feel the same way about not buying props except for flowers. And a find at TJ Maxx is so good. You’ll enjoy using the creamer. Lovely lovely!!!

  4. Love them all! The tea trays are especially YOU, but I must admit Pearls and Lace is my favorite. The combination of the delicate light, delicate color and delicate texture just sucked me right in!

  5. I love your still lifes, Leon. You do such a great job with lighting and styling the shots. Such soft, lovely pastels! I’m still pondering Kim’s Be Still class, but I’m so busy these days, I’m just not sure I can fit it in. What a perfect combo of that fun bird creamer and your teapot. I love it when a plan comes together, and I so get the rule breaking. I”m afraid I’m a bit of a rebel, too! 🙂

  6. So lovely! Such beautiful light! Your French chair is perfect for these soft still life images! if I had that teapot, I would have bought the bird, too! They go great together!

  7. I love seeing how you have worked within your self-imposed limitation and rules to come up with such creative results. I find that limitations are actually quite helpful to creativity. I love the soft glowy results that you achieved through your setups and post-processing. A wonderful tribute to the pastels of springtime.

  8. Lovely, soft and pastel-like images. My favourite is the first one, it’s so beautiful.

  9. Lee, these are just beautiful. I especially love the first two. xo.

  10. Such prettiness. I really like your photos with the tray on the chair. particularly tea for me.

  11. Wonderful fabric and wonderful light Lee and the gorgeous light in that last one with the arrangement of tea is super awesome.

  12. I think your “silly” rules aren’t silly at all, and I love how they actually spark your crativity! The result are beautiful images, real eye candy. I sure like that a lot. And – I also prefer to make do with what I already have.

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