Critique The enjoyable steps of my weekly hot chocolate ritual

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I look so forward to my weekly hot chocolate, not just because I enjoy drinking it but also because I enjoy the simple process of making it.

Setups
See my next post for photos of the setups.


Step 1: Selecting the cocoa flavor and pouring the milk
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Step 2: Optionally adding spices, such as this cinnamon and ginger
Mike 2021-01-19--0002-S.jpg
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Step 3: Adding the cocoa
Mike 2021-01-18--0021-S.jpg
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Step 4: The machine automatically heats and whisks the mixture.
Mike 2021-01-19--0011-S.jpg
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Step 5: Pouring the hot chocolate
Mike 2021-01-19--0013-S.jpg
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Step 6: Savoring the hot chocolate
Mike 2021-01-20--0001-S.jpg
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Butlerkid

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Karen
Superb images! I really like the background and table top choices! #5 should be in their ad!!!! Wow!
 
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Setup for Photos #1 and #3
Mike 2021-01-18--0018-S.jpg
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Setup for Photos #2 & #4

The flashlight added shape to the handle by adding highlights to it.
Mike 2021-01-19--0003-S.jpg
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Setup for Photo #5

The white material at the rear lit from behind by the speedlight is translucent, frosted acrylic. That part of the setup added highlights to the transparent mug.
Mike 2021-01-19--0014-S.jpg
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Setup for Photo 6:

The flashlight helped define the shape of the mug by brightening the left side of the hot chocolate. Seven focus-bracketed images at Nikon step size 3 were stacked in Helicon Focus at default settings.
Mike 2021-01-20--0002-S.jpg
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Joined
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Thank you to Karen and Nick!

#5 should be in their ad!!!!
The company ships two white, ceramic mugs with each machine. One reason I bought the mug in my photo is because it's transparent, which made photo #5 much more dramatic than would be possible using an opaque mug. The other reason I bought it is that I'm enjoying my new hot chocolate hobby so much that I'm going to display a collection of mugs on a "floating" shelf in my kitchen. The shelf has already been ordered and I look forward to the day that I can travel widely again and bring home mugs as enjoyable memories of my trips.

I'm sure that by step 4 I'd be drooling into the machine!
Not to worry: The machine has a top that I omitted from photo #4 so I could photograph the mixture being whisked. The liquid never gets near the top, so my guess is that it's necessary to properly heat the liquid.
 
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Huddinge, Sweden
These is stunning! As mention before these looks like great ads for that machine and chocolate.

#4
The pure geometric shapes together with what the chocolate looks like with the selected shutter speed is stunning.

In #5 is the bluish highlights planned? Regardless its great.

The set up images are really helpful to visually get how you placing various lighting and other materials in relation to the subject.

Thanks for sharing

Daniel
 
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Thanks, Daniel!

In #5 is the bluish highlights planned?
Not only were those blue highlights not planned, I had never seen them despite that I've specialized for years in photographing glass using the principles in this lighting setup. The mug is made of borosilicate glass and I'm guessing that that type of glass produces those highlights. I doubt that I've ever photographed that kind of glass before making this photo, which could explain why I've never seen these highlights. I agree that those cool tones nicely complement the image's warm tones.

It's good to know that the photos of the setup are helpful to you, as I've only recently been able to provide them now that I've enlarged my makeshift studio just a bit.

By the way, the maker of the machine and chocolate has a UK website, which would be more convenient for you than the US website if you're interested in buying the hot chocolate system: https://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk They might even have a closer facility.
 
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Joined
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The machine's clever method of whisking the hot chocolate is unlike anything I've ever seen. The whisk is placed in the machine using the grey handle displayed in the center of photo #4. There is nothing to fit; you simply place the whisk in the container that holds the liquid. Parts of the bottom of the whisk are magnetized, as you can feel the machine "grab" the whisk when it gets close to the bottom. When the machine is turned on, some of the machinery that is hidden beneath the container holding the liquid apparently rotates. Despite that the whisk is not directly attached to those rotating parts, the whisk also rotates because it's magnetized. The grey handle and other parts of the whisk's housing, however, remain motionless.

One of the fun aspects of photography for me is realizing the details we discover from a photograph that, otherwise, we would never have noticed. When I reviewed photo #4 at 100% magnification, I noticed that the tiny particles of chocolate "dust" on the whisk's handle were tack sharp, whereas they would have been blurred if the handle had been rotating. Prior to making that observation, I incorrectly assumed the whisk's entire housing was rotating when the machine was turned on.
 
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