I hate coffee but would love to photograph it. Sounds weird doesn’t it? I know it does.
I have a love and hate relationship with coffee. I don’t know why or when it started. I used to drink it when I was much younger and I think I kind of enjoyed it.
However, now, I can’t stand it. The smell is too nauseating for me. I don’t remember when that started. I am not even sure when I fell out of love with it.
There was no dramatic moment that I can point out where coffee and I fell out. All I know is that the smell of coffee makes me sick.
Funny though, I am determined to photograph it. I love challenges. So this is going to be a photographic challenge. My biggest obstacle is overcoming the smell without getting sick.
I also happen to loathe spiders. In fact, that is not the right word. I am afraid of spiders. I have been afraid of them since childhood and I have never overcome the fear.
Maybe my fears of spiders are irrational to some but it is just what it is. It doesn’t sound very masculine but that is the least of my worries.
You may be wondering what the connection between coffee and spiders is: the point is I am afraid of spiders and so loathe them because of the fear they elicit in me; however, the irony is I love photographing spiders.
I have numerous photos of them which I will publish soon. I just shot an epic duel to the last between a spider and a praying mantis today. I will process the pictures and show this moment.
Here is one of my shots with a spider below I captured around my neighbourhood.
Every time I take photos of these amazing creatures, I am ready to bolt if it makes some sudden movement. I photograph with the adrenaline pumping.
From the photo above, it seems like I took my fear and captured a beautiful moment turning it into a positive.
I think I can do that too with coffee and take something I hate and transform it into something beautiful.
Why would I want to shoot something I hate? Good question.
For starters, I have seen numerous photos of people drinking coffee and it looks like a “romantic” ritual. I love the way they are presented.
Secondly, some representations of cups of coffee are just sheer works of art themselves like the cover photograph and the others above and below.
I love tea but tea is not quite on the same level as far as visual representation is concerned.
Thirdly, cups of coffee just look so nice and warm in pictures, that is. They evoke that same feeling of warmth like when you are staring at a log fire in the hearth of an isolated cabin in the middle of a forest white with snow.
Fourthly, capturing a steaming cup of coffee with the steam rising from a cup looks like a challenge which is good for a novice like me who loves experimenting when I don’t have subjects to shoot.
It is a good way to get to know your camera better and how lighting works to create images that look relatively simple but require some thought about what you are doing as the video below illustrates.
This knowledge is transferable to shooting anything in a studio environment from products to portraits, models, cars, motorbikes, etc. It is also a lovely challenge to learn about composition, use of props and make images speak out or evoke some kind of a reaction.
All in all, I believe it is a means of honing my photographic craft. Sometimes, the most simple images are a challenge to get right and need great technical skill as the photos above illustrate.
They involve all the things I spoke of above.
I hope you see the method in the madness. I will share the results with you when I have done my I Hate Coffee But Would Love To Photograph It challenge.