I had this crazy idea of photographing a cup of coffee … not just any coffee though, my favorite coffee is from France, served as either an espresso or an Americano and enjoyed with an amaretti biscuit or three … so to get it right I wanted to use a white cup on a white background so it involved some sort of studio set up.
- Canon Camera with 100mm macro lens
- 2 off camera flashes
- Foam board under the cup for a white background
- Pippette to add a torch of milk
First I had to get the set up right and I angled the flashes and moved my fix lens camera until I got the photo that I wanted of an empty cup, with some shadows to add depth.
I added the coffee and the yummy biscuits – 3 is always a good number and got the shot of a perfect cup of coffee. This is how I drink it and it tastes great but some people like to ruin a black coffee with a touch of milk so I decided to take this shot to another level.
I filled a pipette with milk, and used it to add tiny drops of milk to my coffee – I ended up taking about 100 shots as it was pure guess work as to whether I timed it right with the drop landing in the coffee and the flash going off, but these are some of the shots I am happiest with.
To start with though it was hard working trying to get the drop to land in the right place in the cup… I ended up with the pipette taped onto a frame above the cub – just out of shot.
Some of the shots landed perfectly, the milk dropped into the coffee and I was able to capture the rebound.
Some of the rebound shots even gave the impression that I had added some milk.
Depending on my timing I got a whole different feel to the image – here I captured a “crown” as the milk droplet disappeared under the coffee.
With lucky timing I managed to capture the droplet of milk as it hit the surface of the coffee.
In some photos you could see more milk that in others… what I had not noticed was how much the coffee had run onto the saucer and how the impact of the splashes was staining my foam board.
Sometimes I caught the droplet of milk reemerging from the cup and an bold circle of dark coffee below.
I managed to even get the milk bubble to balance on top of the coffee!
Sometimes I dropped the milk too quickly and I ended up with lots of drops and a mess!
And sometimes I managed to capture more than one drop… the milk going into the coffee and the coffee bouncing back out – but for this final shot I cloned out the additional coffee splashes in Photoshop. I am really pleased with this, it was the kind of look I was hoping for.
So do you fancy a coffee? I’ll pop the kettle on 🙂