Last time I wrote a post on using direct window lighting to create beautiful soft still life images. In this post, we are going to move the table a few feet away from the window, and only use THAT light to create something a little more dramatic. It really is all about the light and capturing it to make the most of your subject, to create dramatically beautiful images with indirect natural light.

The setup

As you can see in the above image, the table is pulled well back from the window (camera left). I used a reflector (camera right) to bounce back what minimal light there was.

Again, due to limited light, a tripod was used (blur in foreground) with a slower shutter speed of 1/60s. While not considered a long exposure, this is enough to create camera shake and prevent crisp images. Using an aperture of f/2.8 still was not quite enough light for a good, yet dramatic exposure, so the ISO was increased to 200. I could have left the ISO and dropped the shutter speed even further, however, I was spraying the flowers with water and did not want the water drops too blurry.


Wanting to keep the look quite dramatic, I kept the styling very minimal. One image of bright orange ranunculus is in a simple glass vase, with rope adornments and simply let the flowers be the star. I then put some apricot ranunculus in a multi-colored vase (no water this time), two simple blooms in the vase and a third-placed on the table in front. I also added some white linen to break up the image and help the writing on the vase stand our more.

Mix things up

Don’t be afraid to mix things up, spray your flowers with water from a cheap garden store spray bottle (which can be seen in the setup shot above) and even spray the vase, which gives it that just-picked look. If I have my shutter speed a little faster I could also have captured the water drops hitting the petals.

Once in Lightroom Classic, the only real adjustments were a slight bump in Contrast (+19) and a subtle S-curve in the Tone Curve tab.