I love coffee. Can’t get enough of the stuff. I realised though, one day over my obligatory morning cup, that I had never really given it the attention it deserved, photographically speaking- espresso really is a spectacularly odd liquid, and the way it looks, changes and moves is marvelous when examined closely.
I set about planning a series of images that show the process from the bean to the cup, in pairs of light and dark images. I used my home espresso machine for the project as I know it well (although it has a few drawbacks as well – it’s a home machine after all) and set up in the studio with a light source capable of firing fast enough to stop the liquids in motion.
One of the challenges was finding a container to photograph the liquids in, I ended up building a very small aquarium out of optical glass flats, just big enough to hold a few shots of espresso. This worked brilliantly, but the temperature of the liquids meant there was of course quite a bit of condensation and steam to deal with in post production – a necessary evil, sadly.
It was alot of work, but I’m super pleased with the result.
I plan on adding some beautiful natural light shots of simple brewing equipment, along with a high-speed video sequence of espresso extraction when an opportunity arises to work with the right camera.