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Not so long ago I made a still life, where everything was halved—a sandwich, a sprig of dill, and even coffee in the cup. The concept seemed fun to me. But the coffee ended up not looking liquid in the final shot. It looked more like jelly.

Later, it occurred to me that the best way to correct this flaw is to shoot a splash, which can capture how the liquid moves. To give the splash a twist, I attempted to shoot a half-splash, and it worked.

In this tutorial, I’ll teach you how to shoot and achieve a similar result, so you can try it yourself during your next coffee break.

Equipment you’ll need:

1. Camera with an external flash. I use Nikon D800 and SB-910, but almost any flash that is not integrated in camera will fit.

2. Softbox. I like smooth lighting and soft shadows in my shots, so I use a medium-sized softbox to diffuse the flash light.

3. Reflector. This scene requires a fairly large reflector, but I have none. So I made do with a big sheet of drawing paper.

4. Tripod. The more stable, the better.

Props you’ll need:

1. Cups. It’s better to use cups that have a smaller diameter at the bottom than its top. It will be easier to create the half partition for them.


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