Still Life: Mangoes

Still Life: Mangoes

Sadly, mango season is about over in much of the more tropical regions of our world. I hear you, you in the more temperate climes muttering under your breath, “so what.” I understand that you just don’t understand, and that’s OK.

In the tropics we think of mangoes as the “fruit of the Gods,” and mango season is a time to celebrate. A time for gluttony and hoarding. A time for cheesecake and chutney, for smoothies and salsa.

For some time I have wanted to create a still life image of mangoes. Not just a photograph, but an image that has painterly qualities, that is softly but warmly lit. An image that is somewhat surreal. An image that is unique and unusual. I am  fairly please with my first attempt. What do you think?

Still Life- Mangoes Original
Still Life- Mangoes Original

The Process: I photographed the bowl of mangoes on a wood shelf against a white background. Upon importing the file into Lightroom, I did basic processing such as white balance, straightening and sharpening. The image was then opened in Photoshop where I selected and removed the white background and replaced it with a photo of stuccoed off-white wall I had taken at a church some years ago. The new background was then tinted a light golden color. A variety of filters were applied such as a vignette, a Gaussian blur, and a blur vignette to further visually separate the fruit from the background. A rice paper texture was then applied with the opacity reduced to give the desired effect. The image, now back in Lightroom, gets a final tweaking with some minor adjustments to the red, orange and yellow saturation sliders. A tiny adjustment to the exposure, highlights, and shadows.

And there you have it: my “Still Life: Mangoes” painting.

Ron Mayhew

Fine Art Photographer specializing in Still Life and Commercial Photography.

This Post Has 34 Comments

  1. Ron – Truly spectacular! Looks like it belongs in the Metropolitan Museum!

    1. Thanks Sal. I heading to MoMA right now. 🙂

  2. I think you should feel pretty proud of your first attempt at a mango still life! This is lovely!

  3. This is absolutely wonderful, Ron. It looks just like a Cezanne. 🙂

    1. Oh Sylvia, thank you. You are too kind.

  4. The finished product looks so much like a painting! Very nice indeed! And you also reminded me of the mango I have chilling in my fridge. . . should be ready for my smoothie later. 🙂

    1. Thanks Char. So you make mango smoothies too!

  5. Great stuff,I have been fooling around with onone softwear also.When I get something halfway nice I will send you a copy.

    1. Thanks David. I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

  6. For many of us Bombayites (now Mumbai) end of mango season meant a lot of Alphonso mango coming our way before it went out of the markets:)

    1. Not many Alphonso grown here but I understand they are wonderful. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. A truly wonderful tribute to my favourite fruit. Thanks. The still life is gorgeous.

    1. Thanks my friend and thanks for visiting.

  8. Great job! The Dutch masters couldn’t do better… 😉

    1. Now that is an awesome compliment. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Swati and thanks for visiting.

  9. Such a lovely rendering of the shot…I am still learning Photoshop- how do you select and remove the background, replacing it with another? I am working with Elements 11… advice is always appreciated!

    1. Thanks for your comment. There are several ways to do this. Space won’t allow a detailed answer here but you start with the selection tool and select and delete what you don’t want and replace with the new background using layers. There are many tutorials online to walk you through it. Google it and you will find tons of tutorials.

  10. Oh yes, the fruit of the gods! Worthy of tribute.

    1. Good, you are one of us “mangoholics” too. 🙂

  11. Really “like”! It’s beautiful and I was drawn to it straight away! 🙂

    1. Thanks Gigi, I am happy you liked it. I was pleased with the result.

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