Capturing Coffee

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.

Coffee bean and milk

Ground coffee and steamed milk

Espresso and Cafe Latte being poured


  1. Ross
    January 28, 2011 at 6:01 am

    Love your work

  2. Rodrick
    January 28, 2011 at 6:08 am

    Thanks Ross! Much appreciated.

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