Still Life

Project 365 | 130218 | Tulips

My wife loves tulips and her favorite color is purple, so it was a no brainer this past week when I was on the search for some flowers for Valentine’s. They were peaking the past couple of days, so I did a quick photo shoot thinking I would try processing the image with a filter in Photoshop that helps transform your image into an oil painting type scene.

I made sure to capture the image in camera with lots of the areas showing nice bokeh and just a fraction of the image in sharp focus. After several adjustments in PS, below is my artistic vision for this particular scene.

Project 365 | 130218 | Tulips | © Jay Moore Photography

Project 365 | 130111 | Oak Leaf

I know. Three days in a row of photographing autumn leaves seems wild, but I’m in the groove and have my lighting down, so I spent a few hours again this afternoon reshooting some of the leaves from the first day. Below is one example of the depth that the new lighting pattern has created, without losing the saturation of the leaf.

Project 365 | 130111 | Oak Leaf | © Jay Moore Photography

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.

Calla Lily | Still Life – Revisited

Photographing still life is always fun for me, as it gives me an opportunity to experiment with how light falls upon a subject. And recently I extended that experimental mindset to the post processing part of the image, as I revisited one of my calla lily series and developed it within Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 software. Thus, creating a new type of blog post, ‘Revisited’ … Check back again soon for other images to go through the process.

I wanted to give the final image a softer feel, while keeping both the detail and drama within the scene. Color Efex is a powerful software as it gives you the opportunity to stack several filters on top of each other, giving you full control to create the results you’re looking for. After moving several filters around, I finally got the images to where I had originally envisioned when beginning the revisit edit. For all those curious folks out there, I stacked the following filters in the following order … Fog, Detail Extractor, Bleach Bypass, Polaroid Transfer and Vignette. I then made some slight color and contrast correction back within Lightroom.

Calla Lily #5216 REVISTED

And to give you a few examples how this image changed from start to finish, below are two other examples … The first using a black and white edit and the second being the original file how it was captured.

Calla Lily #5216 Black and White

Calla Lily #5216 Black and White | © Jay Moore Photography

Calla Lily #5216 Original

Calla Lily #5216 Original | © Jay Moore Photography

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.

Calla Lily | Still Life

Calla lilies are an exciting flower to photograph for still life. They provide an assortment of things to focus upon, such as texture, form and depth. And if done with the right lighting and background, they make for dramatic black and white images.

I find it best to photograph against a darker backdrops (image below is with charcoal) to give the calla Lily the opportunity to pop within the image. I also rotate my lighting between 30 to 120 degrees to help create highlights and shadows within the flower, thus creating depth.

Calla Lily | Still Life | © Jay Moore Photography

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.

Calla Lily 5087

I’m a big fan of photographing still life, especially calla lilies. They have such wonderful shape and texture that when lit from different angles really makes the flowers pop. Below is an image of three grouped together and converted to black and white …

Calla Lily 5087 | © Jay Moore Photography

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.

Gerber Daisy #5261 | Still Life

Still life photography always gets my creative juices flowing. It’s fun to explore each subject to compose and light it in a way that creates an interesting scene.

In the image below I wanted to showcase both the depth of the Gerber Daisy, along with the variation of color throughout the pedals. And after finalizing the lighting and composition, I converted the image to black and white, which helps highlight those two elements.

Gerber Daisy #5261 | © Jay Moore Photography

Calla Lily 5155

Photographing still life in unique and interesting ways is not an easy task, but when done artistically can be breathtaking. One great example of some amazing still life images are Edward Weston’s peppers, as they are on the highest level of artistic beauty that most all still life photographers strive.

I’m not trying to imply the below image and series are even in the same league as Weston’s peppers, but taking an inanimate object and adding your interpretation through lighting, can create dramatic, passionate scenes that can only be accomplished by pre-visualization of how the light interacts with the object. Below is example of one scene from my Calla Lily series that does just that …

Calla Lily 5155 | © Jay Moore Photography

Calla Lily 5156

Calla Lily 5156 | © Jay Moore Photography

I always enjoy coming back to different series of images from time to time, as it’s sort of like visiting old friends. This particular series is an exercise in highlights and shadows and how they effect textures and shapes, thus creating emotion within the final image.

Light and how it falls on a subject is one of the elements of why I love photography and although I have a great understanding of this element, I feel it’s a lifetime journey to fully master. I always continue to remind myself that not all light is created equal and depending on where you place it in relation with your subject will determine the final outcome of your scene. So, in any one particular scene you have thousands of ways to light and photograph your subject. Finding that perfect combo is always my goal.

With the image above, I wanted to create a dramatic look that helps focus the viewer to the beautiful curves and texture of the calla lily.

How To: Capturing Still Life While On Vacation (Amaryllis)

Just because you don’t have a studio, doesn’t mean you can’t produce studio quality images with what you have. Below is an example of a still life shoot (that I did for myself) to capture the beautiful amaryllis that my wife had been growing for several weeks within our home.

On a recent trip to Western Maryland, in which we took the amaryllis with us to enjoy its peek bloom during vacation, I found myself with no studio or backdrop. So, I improvised with what I had (I tend to travel with my flashes and lighting stands when on vacation so that wasn’t an issue).

Below is the set-up I used within the home we were staying. It was down a small hallway that had three rooms separating off it. I used the back door as my backdrop (white-closed and black-open), camera right room to set up my lighting and camera left door (closed) as was my reflector (since it was white, it reflected light back onto my subject to act as a fill light)

How To | Amaryllis | © Jay Moore Photography

Below is an image with the door closed, creating a white backdrop …

Amaryllis | © Jay Moore Photography

Below is an image (which was highlighted a few days back, CLICK HERE to see post) I photographed in the same position as in the set-up above, but I opened the bedroom door, which created a black background since no light was getting into the room.

Amaryllis | © Jay Moore Photography

So, if you think you need a professional studio with tons of space to photograph still life in your home (or while on vacation) you don’t. So, grab your camera and lighting and go have fun this weekend with photographing some still life.

Gear: 5DMII with 70-200mm Canon L, Quantum QFlash 5DR triggered with Pocket Wizards.

Amaryllis In Bloom

Amaryllis In Bloom | © Jay Moore Photography

The Amaryllis that my wife has been growing in our home over the past couple of months, opened its petals during the weeks around Christmas and New Years.

However, since it was only about a 1/4 of the way through its growth when we went on our trip to Western Maryland for a few days to enjoy some R&R with friends, we decided to bring it along so we wouldn’t miss its full bloom.

And since I pretty much travel most places with my flashes and light stands, I decided to capture the Amaryllis in its prime. I photographed it with both a dark and light background with lighting somewhat behind and to camera right of the flower. Check back again soon to see the set up from the shoot and how you sometimes don’t need an official backdrop to create a nice black or white background.

To see the Amaryllis in its growing stages, click on the this link.


Amaryllis | © Jay Moore Photography

My wife enjoys growing bulbs inside this time of year to give our home some sights and smells of spring during the middle of winter. She normally does an amaryllis in the early winter so that it’s in full bloom around the Christmas season. And since she knows I’m always looking for shapes, curves and textures within nature, she brought to my attention the unique shapes and curves that the amaryllis bulb was making while it was beginning to grow.

I agreed with her a 100 percent and set up my gear for a photo shoot. I love the depth that the leaves create, along with the unique curves that keep the viewers eyes moving throughout the image.

Autumn Leaf

Autumn Leaf | © Jay Moore Photography

The colors within autumn leaves are spectacular, as every leaf has its own unique look and design. I love how this leaf showcases great patterns and lines and how you can see the three main colors of fall.

Click on the link if you’re interested in a post on How To Photograph Leaves, such as in the image above.

Calla Lily – 5138

Calla Lily – 5138 | © Jay Moore Photography

Today I bring you some curves and texture of one of my favorite still life’s to photograph, the calla lily.

Besides finding uniquely shaped flowers, creating an interesting lighting pattern is one of the most important parts in photographing such a subject. Because, if done appropriately, you can create drama with the shadows while still keeping the textures and curves throughout the subject.