Mulled Apple Juice
© Nicole Branan | Image ID: 22-795
Full Size Image Dimensions: 4016 pixels by 6024 pixels
Image Description: A glass filled with steaming hot mulled apple juice in a somber fall setting on a rustic farmhouse table.
Image Keywords: fruit, hot, beverage, steam, tea, rum, cinnamon, cider, drink, knife, distressed wood surface, rustic, vertical, food, dark, moody, farm table, low light, autumn, leaves, leaf, spice, stock food photo, stock food image, stock photography, food photography
Hi everyone! This post is part of this month's edition of a wonderful new project I'm participating in along with some of my fellow OFFSET artists: The Storytellers Blog Circle. All members of this circle are incredibly talented visual storytellers and are very passionate about their work. In our blog circle posts each of us gives you behind–the–scenes info on one of our photographs with the goal of teaching and inspiring our audiences. At the end of our posts we each link to the next member in the circle so you can follow along!
So here we go. For this month I've chosen a photo of mulled apple juice that I took a few weeks ago.
I am not a documentary photographer in the sense that I almost never document existing food scenes, instead I create each scene in my studio from the ground up. For this photo I wanted an almost monochromatic color palette and very subdued light to create a quiet, peaceful and reflective, late fall atmosphere.
I started with a small wooden crate that I turned upside down and set on a black table. The set is backlit (with my trusty strobe) and I controlled the light with lots and lots of flags to create a dark and almost gloomy look and feel. The linen bag acts as a "tray" for the drink and symbolically elevates it from the wood surface. In my mind the bag also fit well into the story because it could have been the bag in which the apples had been brought home.
To tell the viewer that the drink they see here is apple juice I added fresh apples to the scene and to make it look as if I had just cut the apples I dunked the knife blade in a jar of lemon juice – definitely a minor but in my view still important and very noticeable detail.
A few freshly picked fall leaves added to the fall atmosphere and also helped keep the surface from looking too naked. I rearranged the leaves and apples a few times until I felt that there was a smooth and natural flow in this scene that helped guide the eye into the frame.
Lastly, I dropped the cinnamon stick in the glass to tell the viewer that this is a spiced drink and – equally importantly – to give me something to focus my lens on.
If you're interested, find the recipe for this delicious drink here: BBC Good Food – Mulled Apple Juice.
Now continue around our circle and head on over to Johanna Hood, who is a master at capturing beautiful and genuine moments in the life of her children and those around her. Very inspiring work!