Make a splash : Nasty Coffee Photography

I take loads of coffee photos, mostly always with my iPhone. They're not really arty or special, just moments... I'm not trying to make any special statement or anything like that - just having a bit of semi-creative fun... So, there I am last night, mucking about with making the last espresso of the day and I thought, I've been posting all these shots with the Nasty Clamps that I've been using and now with the Nasty Flag and I had a little think about what i could do to show how you can use these very simple but very cool items to help you take photos...

Above is my Nasty Clamp / Godox ProPac / Canon 580 EXII / Alien Bee triggers on top of a door... I was taking my own 'real estate' photos... fun times eh!

The Nasty Clamp is a simple spring clamp with a bendy bit that you can attach a cold shoe (I use the Frio) onto and pop your flash on the end, then you can clamp the thing onto what ever you like... So, last night, I wanted to take a shot of a little espresso cup with water splashing about, and I didn't want to get lights out and stuff, so I used my Godox TT560 with the little Alien Bee triggers (but you can use a simple sync cable / radio poppers / whatever) and I wanted to have the flash on its lowest power setting, sitting just above the coffee cup, but IN the sink.... So it was either going to be a tripod / stand all up on the sink and whatever, or, the Nasty Clamp simply hanging off a tap.... So simple!

Here's the setup I used; [iPhone photos]

You can see I had a little HONL grid on the front of the flash to keep the light as controlled as possible, and I used the flag behind the cup so I didn't get as much bounce from the silver wall of the sink...

This is the photo I created with the setup above, I had the camera on a tripod, 85mm lens, ISO 100, shutter of 1/100th at f/4.0 (remember that aperture is what controls your flash exposure)

The cup placed under the tap, the tap turned on, into the empty'ish cup, the shutter opened / flash fired.

The frame above is quite dark to the left, I used the Nasty Flag as a baby black background in the actual sink - it was hanging off the cutlery draw as you can see in the photo below.

So that was fun... I wanted a photo of the finished product and let me offer some tips on that, too...


Here's the final coffee, 200mm 1/30th (to introduce a little more ambient behind the cup) at f/2.8.... Just a bit of fun, eh!

There was a little flagging to the side / rear to try bring up a little contrast and the lightsource to the left, almost pointing to the rear of the espresso... here's a setup shot;

I guess what I'm trying to say is this; try a Nasty Clamp... they're damn handy, and darn nasty!