Pouring Cold Water on Your Hot Coffee

cup of coffee with ceiling fan reflected and ice water

Alternative process album cover concept. Zen Robot series.

Hot coffee for a cold night respite in Morioka, Japan. Then I saw the ceiling fan reflection in it, and couldn’t resist an image capture.

Having only low film speed loaded in my camera, I decided to use my phone instead. One of the things I like about instant photography and mobility is odd, serendipitous perspectives.

If I’m lucky and in form, an image such as this becomes an album or book cover concept. I’m feeling jazz when I look at this, but hope viewers conjure up their own melody.

Conceptual Photography

cleanliness and sanitation conceptual photo | Paul Ottaviano Photography

When exploring ideas for conceptual photos it’s fun to stretch creative muscles and find shots in challenging and less obvious places. Once good exercise, that I recently learned of at a Seth Resnick seminar, is to draw an invisible circle. It can be anywhere, and preferably on the small side. Inside that circle find the best possible photo.

It’s not always easy, but that is the point. Be patient, look closely, and find the right look or moment. Above you’ll see a photo of a napkin holder at a hamburger grill. My invisible circle to find a shot was the table. The napkin holder by itself isn’t much. But, I noticed that as the sun broke through the clouds and shined through the window it hit the silver so the label reflected on the table and finger smudges were visible. And I suppose that is the possible concept: cleanliness. But next time you’re at a restaurant, maybe you just want to grab the napkin and nothing else.