As some people have asked us to, today we are explaining how we took this picture we showed you some days ago.
Our goal was to create an image of a percolator “falling” where one could see the brewed coffee, the coffee powder and the water pouring out. We chose a brown background to relate it to the notion of coffee. We wanted to give the impression that the percolator was about to “impact” the floor and in order to do that we needed to create the brown shadow on the base.
For this composition we took about 20 photos, like this ones here:
The first issue we had to deal with was how to hold the different parts of the percolator in a stable way. In order to solve this, we held a 16mm pin in every piece and held the whole thing together with putty (Patex).
We used our Avenger base and a Manfrotto magic arm to hold the percolator and shot a couple of photos to see if it worked. As we kept taking pictures, we covered the visible parts of the arms to ease the postproduction.
The lighting scheme used is quite simple: our main source of light came from behind and a bit to the right of the percolator and was a 60x60cm softbox; on the other side, we had another 60x60cm softbox. On the frontal part, many reflectors helped us to avoid unwanted reflections on the surface.
Right after this we finished defining the positions of the elements and took the base photo. We also took a picture of the background with no elements, that we used to clean spots in postproduction. Once the base picture was taken, we started with the coffee powder snapshots. We took away the upper part of the percolator and started pouring out coffee. Once this was ready, we started with the water and just repeated the action. At this point, we tried to photoshop the whole thing quickly, just to see if it more or less worked or, on the contrary, we needed to take more pictures. This is a key moment to see if you are on the right way. Once the water part was finished, we started with the brewed coffee.
Postproduction consisted mainly on combining all the shots with layer masks in Photoshop with much love and patience. Once everything was mixed, we had something like this:
And once here, all we needed to do was cleaning the whole thing and applying settings layers to adjust colors, brightness and contrast.
And here you have the result!