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.