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?
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.