Beer Photography, a Guilty Pleasure
I’ve been in doubt about this blog post for a long time. Is it such a good idea to write about beer and its connection with photography? Does it make me look like an alcoholic or dipsomaniac? There were times when you had to empty a crate every night for that, but nowadays you already get critical looks when you occasionally sip a Belgian specialty beer or two.
But as a summer intermezzo, not to be taken too seriously, shouldn’t it be acceptible? Mid August, in the closing days of the funny season or, as we say in the Netherlands, the cucumber time? As a kind of guilty pleasure, wouldn’t that be okay?
Nevertheless, here’s a disclaimer. No, this is not a plea for the unrestrained consumption of alcoholic beverages. Like almost everything nice and tasty, alcohol is unhealthy and addictive and it makes you fat.
So: drink in moderation. And try sometimes not to drink. Or give low or non-alcoholic beers a chance. It doesn’t always have to be 10 or 12 percent.
But never forget to enjoy. Not just the taste of the beer of course, but also the colorful beer culture, thousands of years old and still constantly renewing itself.
Because enjoyment is healthy. And although I cannot submit hard data right now, I suspect that through enjoying some of the harmful effects of the alcohol can be compensated.
There are people who make money with beer photography. A good beer photo even makes a total abstainer crave for the stuff. When I try to take such a photo myself however, I discover that it is a profession in itself. Allright, everyone has to find his niche; I’ll focus on landscape and architectural photography instead.
But when I enjoy a Leffe, Affligem or La Trappe after a long hike, I often cannot resist the temptation to take my camera out of its bag again to capture the beautiful light in glass and content for posterity.
It must be said, however, that it is advisable to take the photo when the foam still comes to the edge of the glass. A photo of a half-consumed beer is somehow less attractive.
Also an empty glass, waiting for a refill, can provide unexpected photographic possibilities, as shown by this very temporary Leffe tattoo on the hairy arm of drinking companion B.
The holy grail
In the meantime, I keep hoping for an alcohol-free beer that is just as tasty as, say, a Leffe Brown or a Chimay Blue. That must be something like the holy grail for the beer industry. How hard can it be? Quite hard, it seems. But we keep dreaming.