Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Coca-Cooler

Bucks Fizz (Or is That Fizz Bucks?)

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


I shot this series of photographs on Saturday afternoon. I just thought I'd take some shots of Coco-Cola being poured into a glass and then maybe some images from above the glass, of the Coke swirling among the ice cubes. So I put the SMC Pentax-DA 1:2.8mm Macro on my camera and got the experiment under way.

This first shot (above) was taken while I held a two-litre bottle of Coke in my left hand and poured it into the glass, while shooting the scene by holding the camera in my right hand. Let me tell you that required some co-ordination!


Then I noticed the beautiful colours swirling round the glass so I took this shot while holding the glass outdoors. Again, I held the glass in my left hand and shot with my right.


Then I noticed the iceberg effect (above) in the glass, with one-tenth of this ice cube above the surface of the Coca-Cola and the rest of it below the surface.


But this macro lens is so good that it'll capture crisp images while almost touching the object, so I went in even closer for this shot (above). You can see the effervescence clearly as the bubbles rise - and the lens is still good enough to capture the sheen on the underneath of the ice, as well as the gradations of colour across the liquid.


I quickly realised this was far more fun than shooting boring shots from the top of the glass. Then I saw something that took me back to my senior Science classes in Year 10 and 11, where my physics teacher - a brilliant man - explained the intricacies of surface tension and capillary action. Look at the surface of the Coca-Cola in this shot (above) and you'll see that it appears to be undulating around the ice cubes, a fact recorded with startling clarity by this macro lens.


So of course, I had to go closer for the last shot in this series. Then I rang a good friend of mine, to find out the scientific term for the concave surface of the liquid. Mr T, as I fondly refer to him, had the answer immediately. It's called a "meniscus", he said - and it comes from the Greek word meaning "crescent". The curve is produced by a molecular response to the surface of the glass, as well as the blocks of ice.

Regular visitors to my blog know that I never enhance my photographs in any way. But until now, I've never used a macro lens good enough to shoot a meniscus with this sort of clarity. I guess you'd all agree that this series of shots from the side of the glass was far more rewarding than shooting it from the top, as I had originally intended.

45 comments:

willow said...

Great photos David!

And now, thanks to you, I am craving an ice cold Coke. (actually, I am a Pepsi person)

Akelamalu said...

Oh WOW fabulous photos David, and you're ambidextrous!

Blue said...

Clever shots.
I do hope you got to enjoy that cold drink aferwards!
And, was it just coke?

Hilary said...

Meniscus is an impossible word to play with - pun-wise. You couldn't even refer to Dennis the Menace 'cuz he preferred root beer over Coke. ;)

Now that I got that out of me.. GREAT shots.. very impressive and wonderful chemistry lesson!

whodatdare said...

Very well done, David! I've never noticed the meniscus before. Great shots!

San said...

Wow! David, you're giving me ideas for paintings. In particular, to my eye anyway, that first "iceberg" shot begs to be a lush abstract--just a touch of impasto and some scraping on the "cube", then beautiful receding depths towards the bottom.

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Are you sure you're not a "Madison Avenue" man? (The hub of the advertising world). These make me want to run out and have a cold drink. The last one, for some reason, reminds me of teeth!

scrap chair potato said...

Suddenly, I am very thirsty. :)
Great shots... as always.

Dragonstar said...

That is a fantastic lens! I'm really jealous now!
You're no slouch at the co-ordination, either.

lime said...

you're really trying to induce envy in me aren't you? because i really, really, really want a macro lens.

cheers!

Medic 61 said...

Oh I love the second shot. So beautiful!

jillie said...

Those are some coordination skills you've got there David. I would of spent more time cleaning up the spills, given up and just adding some Jack Daniels to it and said to hell with this idea...lol!!

The last photo would have been good for guess what this is.

Well done as always ;o)

überburber said...

I was shouting "meniscus!" before I got to the end of your very interesting and beautifully documented post.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Trader Joe's is an alternative grocery store - Here's a link to their site. Perhaps you could start something like that down under...!

http://www.traderjoes.com

Cowgirl said...

Beautifully done, David. I envy you that lens.

You should be selling those shots to Coke for loads of Bucks (Fizz)

Loved the colour and the tiniest bubbles.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Hi Davd
This advert from Pepsi came back to me...
Lip smacking, thirst quenching, ace tasting, motivating, good buzzing, cooltalking, high walking, fast living, ever giving, cool fizzing, Pepsi..

or was it.. more a case of..

Gut rotting, face spotting, hip bulging, sugar indulging, crumbling molar, pepsi cola

What ever it was these are great shots David.

DaddyKaos said...

Wow! Fantastic shots with great imagination.

ArneA said...

Must admit that I am not sure what some of these photos remind me of. Buy I dare to say that photos also ca be extremely sexy made by a professional.
I am impressed and happy that you show me how to develop and document processes.

VBF! said...

WOW!!! Flash camera! And great photography!

Thanks for your comment! Glad to see I'm not the only Aussie in blogland! :-P *GiGGLeS* xx

Rachelle said...

cool beans! I need a macro like that for my camera... right after I get a magnifying glass so I can see my picture on the digital screen.....
Eh, what's that? I'm getting old you say, pish-posh. *wink-wink*
Slainte~
Rachelle

Uncle Joe said...

There is indeed something magical about pouring Coke into a glass filled with ice.
You've captured it perfectly.

suchsimplepleasures said...

such bad timing, me seeing this post! while i found the pictures to be amazing...i'm going through some serious diet coke withdrawal...and this didn't help matters much!!
hope all is well with you!

the amoeba said...

Isn't technology wonderful? Would love to see you pull off this manual dexterity trick with Mathew Brady's camera.

It's amazing that there are so many examples of the meniscus available today. After all, no one's seen a womenisca.

Maybe if you found some mercury in a glass tube ...

aims said...

Yep - I'm craving a drink of Coke too!

Sometimes water going over a waterfall makes me think of coca-cola and ice...I don't know why.

Tammy said...

I'm craving a glass of ice cold coke now. LOL

Anonymous said...

Spectacular pictures, captured by an enthusiastic photographer, with a bit of Physics thrown in, too. Mr. B. would have been really proud to see that, David.

Rene.

Seamus said...

Wonderfully phizzy!!!!

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Um, maybe I'm just a perv, but I see something rude in the last shot. Well, not rude. Actually quite wonderful. Mind bogglingly cool. Nevermind. Cool pictures, as usual. Did you put anything in there with the Coke?

Sandi McBride said...

I'm not sure if I want coke or champagne and orange juice, lol...Bucks Fizz...the group or the brunch drink, David? Oh, and how is your young'un? All better I hope.
Sandi

mrsnesbitt said...

Thirsty work David! LOL! Awesome.

Blog Princess G said...

Well done!

What I'd love to see is what you can do with that macro feature and a glass of GUINNESS.

................. THUD

(that's me swooning at the thought)

leslie said...

This is an AMAZING series of shots - one of my favourites to date. Reminds me of the science lesson I gave my 4th graders one year about ice bergs. We made our own "ice bergs" (cubes) and experimented with them in huge bowls of water to measure the percentage above and below the surface, etc. etc. Lots of fun, just like photography. :D

Rhea said...

You have suceeded in making me very thirsty...and I learned the definition of the word meniscus...quite a feat in one post!

quilly said...

Apparently no one ever told you not to play with your food! That was a wonderful idea and the photos, well, the soda in my fridge is calling to me ... and so is your camera. I want!

CamiKaos said...

all i can say is those shots made me thirsty for my cherry coke, but as it's almost time to sleep maybe I'll have to put that off till tomorrow.

Corey~living and loving said...

oooo these almost make me want a sip....and that is saying a lot since I don't drink soda.
well done.

Maggie May said...

That is such a tease........ makes me feel really thirsty!
Looks delicious.

Shrinky said...

You are truly like a kid let loose in a sweetie shop with this new macro lens of yours, aren't you? Such fun shots, but remember - fizzy drinks rot the teeth!

Hammer said...

You can make turn seemingly mundane into something fascinating.

CrazyCath said...

Fabulous. Amazing.

Science in a glass in a lens. Brilliant.

Mima said...

What a lens - you have got some great shots here! I am a coke lover, but now it is just the fake stuff for me which doesn't have the aspartame in it!

Kathryn said...

I love these shots!!!

self taught artist said...

interesting, all these remind me of teeth

mindyluwho said...

Oh my goodness, I'm thirsty!

I kept thinking of teeth too, when it got to be so close up.

ExpatKat said...

I just love this sequence of pictures. I could imagine them blown up and presented as a series. Great job, David.

edison said...
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