Continuing a very strong trend of late, it is time for some more café magic from Jenny Downing.


It is an interesting conundrum – what, precisely, is the subject here? Is it the foreground curve of the mug in focus? Or the bubble transformed by specular highlight? Perhaps there is no subject, only abstraction.

My vote is for the second, for it is to the nebulous glow that the eye is drawn, seated as it is on the sharply defined rim-line. Why this point, and not the others? Because it sits on the intersection of the vertical primary golden ratio and the horizontal double (whereas the in-focus part does not quite reach the golden ratio). It also has the line of the handle pointing towards it, and the mixed curves of the shadow and edge of the coffee: leading lines.

It is quite interesting that this image manages to use the rim line for four purposes: as a strong diagonal, the diptych divider, the boundary of the negative space outside the subject area, and the above-mentioned support for the out-of-focus focal point. It could additionally be considered as the edge line of several of the curved triangular shapes within this image, which serve to give it the feel of abstraction.

Coffee, it would seem, is a source of creativity.

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