Last Updated on 01/16/2019 by Mark Beckenbach
All images by Mark Mawson. Used with Creative Commons permission.
Ever been curious about getting experimental with food photography? The genre can yield some pretty interesting results with some out-of-the-box approaches. Case in point is the clever project by Gabriella Marks which put the spotlight on the produce rather than scrumptious dishes. Let’s look at another fine example in this a simple yet fun abstract exercise by London-based photographer Mark Mawson using coffee and milk captured in high speed.
Mawson is actually an expert on photographing all things liquid, creating stunning abstract imagery using blobs, swirls, and splashes. He often uses his tried and tested technique for projects involving drinks and fragrances, but he also does some occasional underwater photography. He has also developed his own distinctly colorful style for his well-known Aqueous series. It’s not surprising, therefore, that he has experimented with coffee and milk to lend an abstract touch to food photography.
Among these experiments is Coffee with a splash of milk, which is a pretty straightforward compilation as the title indicates. The result, however, gives us an interesting look into how something as simple as liquids splashing and mixing can be beautiful. The collection also shows us the two liquids in various states of splashing and mixing; as individual streaks pre-mixing, and as blobs and wisps mid-mixing. But of course, there’s also the classic drip shot of milk in coffee!
Food photography-wise, this abstract exercise is definitely a more playful take than the usual coffee cup flat lay shots we typically see on Instagram. Experimental as the snaps may be, it’s still easy imagining them being used for commercial projects.