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Espresso ... black or white?
Espresso ... black or white?

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Black and White in Color II (Advanced Editing VII*)
Camera: Canon EOS-40D
Lens: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM
Location: My house
Date: Feb 24, 2008
Aperture: f/22
ISO: 250
Shutter: 0.6 sec
Galleries: Still Life, Black and White
Date Uploaded: Feb 24, 2008

Took many, many shots before I was happy ... taken in ambient light on a black card background. This is the first time I have tried to "set up" a shot like this and I am pleased with the results. I initially used coffee beans in the foreground but they were too brown, I tried to grill them to burn them blacker but it just didn't work. I also tried the shot with coffee in the cups but unless the cups were 100% level it didn't quite work. In the end I used some salt crystals to look like sugar!

It is also the first time I've set the white balance manually on my camera and the first time I've used the burn tool to darken the background so lots of firsts for this shot!!!

Set white balance manually.
Shot in aperture priority to get good dof.
Burn background to darken
Clone a couple of spots of dirt off the background card
Save for web

What did I learn from this challenge:
How to set the white balance manually on my camera
How to use dodge and burn tools in PS
How to set up a shot like this using black card as a background
From comments, less seems to be more! I don't think the sugar in the foreground helped the shot at all.

Place: 40 out of 249
Avg (all users): 6.1190
Avg (commenters): 6.2000
Avg (participants): 6.0385
Avg (non-participants): 6.1667
Views since voting: 921
Views during voting: 338
Votes: 210
Comments: 10
Favorites: 0

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 Comments Made During the Challenge
03/04/2008 10:47:29 PM
Beautiful work here. I admit I love all things caffienated. Exposure is dead on perfect.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2008 07:10:57 AM
The sugar looks out of place here- but certainly an interesting and well-taken shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/29/2008 11:16:12 PM
I love the cups they work well in this shot. Im not sure if the sugar is nessisary or not. I do like the textute it is a nice added element. But with out it I wonder if the cups may seem to be floating a bit. There is a slight optical illusion going on here.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/29/2008 05:42:32 AM
Cool. Nice lighting, even deep in the stack. Good work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2008 06:32:48 PM
Definetly meets the challenge, I'm jus tnot too sure about the composition here, but in the sense of seeming a lil too much, I think it would have worked better without the sugar seems unecessary to me. That can be down o personal taste I guess but for me I always think less is more ;] good luck
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2008 06:25:56 PM
Great shot, However the tight crop on top bothers me :(
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 10:51:52 PM
Nice shot but the granules of ?? at the bottom were distracting.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 02:22:52 PM
I'd have liked this better, I think without the granule piles. Nicely focused and DOF on the cups.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 02:01:06 PM
Very neat setup. Could use some slight extra contrast. Don't particularly like the split piles of sugar, would've liked to see black coffee beans for the concept ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 09:29:15 AM
Nice still life, I could see this as a big poster print in a coffee house.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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