How to Shoot a Cup of Coffee
It is not always possible to make a high-quality photo from the first time.
Our tips will help you make a photo that will excite people to drink coffee.
Coffee Photography Tips
To make a good photo of coffee, you need to make a really good coffee. The photo will be a very noticeable difference between good and cheap coffee.
In order to get an excellent photo of a coffee mug, you will need to combine many years of experience with food photographers and a little knowledge of the technique of shooting. As a result, you can make not just a beautiful picture, but a photo that will be able to make you want to be in the captured scene, to feel the aroma and taste of the photographed drink. The key to success, in this case, is the selection of the necessary parts of the photograph and appeal to human feelings and emotions.
Think about it: every time when you look at the image of coffee, tea or hot chocolate, you most likely have a desire to try it. A good photo gives you pleasant memories, and sometimes even taste sensations. That is the result we will strive for. Let's see what can help us in this.
Use high contrast
To get a better photo and focus the viewer's attention on the image of coffee, we recommend that you use high contrast. Of course, to a greater extent, this refers to the post-processing stage of the photo, but we decided to start from that moment to explain why high-contrast images are best suited for our task.
When contrast is increased in a photograph, the differences between light and dark areas become pronounced. The human eye, as a rule, is inclined to start studying the image from dark areas, gradually filtering them out. As a result, the viewer's gaze usually slides from dark areas to light ones.
The trick is to achieve a sufficient contrast image, in which the coffee is obtained with rich dark tones, but the details of its image should not be lost.
To do this, you may need to slightly enhance the shadows or black levels.
Overexpose the photo (or measure the exposure in the shadows)
To get started, try overexposing the photo in order to get the details in the shadows.
The brighter the image, the more detail you can get. Try overexposing a photo by about 1 stop. You can get the overexposed image in any of the basic ways available: directly in the camera or at the post-processing stage (you are shooting in RAW, right?).
This stage is closely related to what we said at the very beginning: the importance of emphasizing the right parts of the image. After all, this emphasis is based not only on the construction of the composition but also on the selection of key colors. You can intentionally make some colors more saturated in order to grab the audience by the hand and draw it to the photo, figuratively speaking.
Use a large light source
The trick used by food photographers for many years is to use a lot of soft light. Many of them seek to recreate the lighting from the window, with which you can meet at the table of your favorite cafe or even in the kitchen at home. Such lighting appeals to the feelings of the viewer and gives him memories of comfort and pleasure, familiar surroundings.
To achieve such coverage in many ways. The simplest and most obvious is to use natural light from the window available to you.
However, in many cases, the window will not be able to give you enough light. Using an external flash can solve this problem. Direct the flash towards the window - best of all, if it is a window with blinds because they improve the reflection of light. By doing this, you can get closer to getting the scene lit up like most people would see it at home or in a cafe.
Although using bokeh for the photo we want to get is optional, we believe that using it can be a good creative tool when photographing coffee.
While everyone just likes to enjoy photos with a shallow depth of field, you can use bokeh to gently tell the viewer which part of the photo he should focus on.
As soon as you combine the awareness of this fact with the beauty of the picture that your lens can draw on the open aperture, you will take a big step towards creating a photograph that is most attractive to the viewer.
Shoot with a natural perspective
All tips should be used in combination with the understanding that using a natural perspective (that is, a perspective that is characteristic of the human eye) will provide optimal results.
In terms of focal lengths, 35 mm (for a full-frame) is most appropriate.
Do not forget about the corners, under which we usually look at our cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. In everyday life, people most often look at a cup either from above or at a slight angle.
Of course, all these nuances are subjective, but you must carefully consider them before taking a photo.