For Critique I'm not sure it works - "the first cup"

Luke

Super Moderator
Nov 11, 2011
214
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
As I was pouring my first cup of coffee this morning, I really liked the way the light and shadow were working (it certainly helps to have a solid white counter and a solid white cup for this exercise). My thought was a simple direct overhead shot with the rim of the cup in focus and the handle slightly soft. What I failed to consider was some light reflection of the liquid and it being out of focus is all that my eye is drawn to. Does it work in some way considering how coffee drinkers feel (and see) before the first cup? Or is it just distracting and the shot would be better shot at f16 instead of f4? Any other opinions?

first cup by Luke Lavin, on Flickr
 

S Noel

All-Pro
Oct 5, 2010
124
Casey County, KY (Liberty)
Stephen Noel
No camera, before the first cup is gone! Maybe the 2nd. That first cup doesn't make it to my chair before I have that first swallow or 2, or 3. Then, we start slowly focusing, on the world around us.

I too, think that focusing on the coffee/light highlight. with maybe f5, or no change.
 

jloden

All-Pro
Jun 30, 2012
88
Jay
As an inveterate coffee drinker, I know that feeling well Luke! :biggrin:

The focus doesn't bother me at f/4 here, but two other bits of feedback:

1) My eye wants the handle to be perpendicular since there's so much symmetry everywhere else in the image.

2) I feel like the image is missing a true white point. Part of the appeal is the visual contrast so it it were me I'd bring the white point up and create some additional tonal separation with the cup and counter and the black coffee.
 

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Jan 3, 2012
124
Troy, NY
Luke,

Well, it would have been interesting to see the difference between f/4 and f/16.

But seeing as this was your first cup of coffee, first thing in the morning, and none of that coffee has been consumed, I don't see how you can be held responsible at all.

If it were me in your caffeine-less state, I'd just put that sucker in Professional (P) mode and hope for the best . . .

Cheers, Jock
 

KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
Kyle
As an inveterate coffee drinker, I know that feeling well Luke! :biggrin:

The focus doesn't bother me at f/4 here, but two other bits of feedback:

1) My eye wants the handle to be perpendicular since there's so much symmetry everywhere else in the image.

2) I feel like the image is missing a true white point. Part of the appeal is the visual contrast so it it were me I'd bring the white point up and create some additional tonal separation with the cup and counter and the black coffee.
This, exactly. I like it, as-is. But I would've been curious to see it with these changes. It's so geometric that it begs (me) to become very symmetrical and higher contrast.
 

john m flores

All-Pro
Aug 13, 2012
124
Cropping suggestion-take a little bit off left and right so that the end result is tighter. It doesn't have to be a square, but perhaps close.

I think a tighter crop will create an interesting figure/ground relationship between the cup and the counter. It's difficult to explain, but it's kind of like having positive and negative space in this push-pull balance.

Another way to imagine it. Look at the right edge of the frame and the right edge of the cup. Right now, they have no tangible relationship with each other. But as you start cropping the right edge tighter and tighter, you get to a point where the right edge of the cup begins to push against the right edge of the frame or, from the counter top's point of view, it begins to wrap itself around the edge of the cup. Crop too tight and the cup dominates, pushing the counter top to secondary importance. But somewhere before is a sweet spot where, the cup (figure) and counter top (ground) are in a delicate balance with each other and the composition just kind of "snaps" into place.

Hope this makes some sense to somebody.
 

Djarum

All-Pro
Jul 10, 2010
123
Huntsville, AL
Jason
Luke,

I took your first image here and played with it a bit. I bumped the contrast just to see what that would do, and it made a world of difference to me.
 

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