Sunday, November 19, 2006

Slice of life

Pie fascinates me. Yes, it tastes good, especially when I'm not the one who created it. But my limitless gluttony is only part of the story: Pie is one of the few foods that can be translucent enough to shoot when backlit.

I noticed this a few hours before taking this particular image. My wife and I were sitting at the kitchen table with friends. The whole pie-as-backlit-subject concept suddenly popped into my head as we started to eat dessert. To validate this new theory, I lifted my pie-laden plate above my head and tilted it slightly, trying to see if the light would be worth shooting.

Suddenly, the pie shifted and started to accelerate toward my face. Fearful of a nose covered with meringue, I rapidly dropped the plate toward the table....and accidentally slammed it into my waiting mug.

The plate shattered, pie went everywhere, our friends laughed, my wife did not. It was the first plate I've broken in 14 years of marriage. I apologized a number of times through the evening, and was upset with myself for allowing it to happen.

But that didn't stop me from heading back downstairs to the tidied-up kitchen just before bed. On the surface, I was hungry. More deeply, I wanted to finish the photographic thought I had started earlier in the evening. I perched the plate beside the sink, turned on the fluorescent task light over the faucet, popped the camera onto the tripod, metered the scene and racked off a few long-ish (20-30-second) exposures.

Your turn: I know I risked marital strife to get this one. Would you?

But wait, there's more: This photo spawned another one, years later. Head here for the postscript.


kenju said...

I'm sure I would have, if I wanted it badly enough. I have a one-track-mind when I want something...LOL. I hope the plate is replaceable Morah Mommy!

Michele sent me.

sage said...

I like the line "our friends laughed, my wife didn't."

Why not risk divorce court to a masterpiece! Here from Michele's.

srp said...

Here from Michele.
Well, I'm not good at this question. Since I have been divorced for seventeen years, my answer would be "it really doesn't matter". Somehow I don't think your marriage would break up over a plate. Mine didn't. It did break up over a "dish" of sorts.

Anyway, this really fascinates me. First, because I love lemon meringue pie and second, because I would love to see what it looks like with natural backlighting. What would the sun, say a bright ray of sun streaming in through a window..... do to those colors? Since my small bathroom has the best streaming light, I would probably take it in there and try several set ups... on the window sill, on the edge of the sink that is positioned to get the morning light. Hmm. Food, or at least dessert for thought!

craziequeen said...

I don't know if I would want to risk Mrs Levy's ire to photograph pie....

But then again, another stunning photo, Carmi

here via Michele

srp said...

Here from Michele again.

I have no pie to snap right now. But I do have a photo I took while thinking "What Would Carmi Photograph". Just posted it.

BTW, I think Carmi, Illinois is a small farming town. There are so many like Clay City, Flora, Louisville, Bible Grove and so on. It must be very near the Illinois, Indiana border just off I64.

David Edward said...

you are such a freak!
and I mean that in the kindest best sense of the word. I think I would like doing dessert and coffee w you and mrs. Carmi
and maybe michele

Moogie said...

I'm not so sure I would have risked it. Though, you may have been forgiven since it's the first plate you had broken. Now if you would have broken the coffe mug as well? That might have been a different story.

MorahMommy said...

You're very lucky that I love you!!! No divorce but I am getting a new set of dishes!! :)

So every thing works out in the end.

Besides it is a lovely picture!

Anonymous said...

It took me awhile to 'see' the pie. but i get it now. it is a great pic, carmi!


via M

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I think I would have. I like how the air pockets in the meringue contrast so nicely.

Michele sent me!

Kansas said...

This would be a regular occurrence at my house (the photographing of desserts, not the breaking of dishes). The hard part would be snapping a photo before the husband woofed it down!

And I’m not here via Michele. Well I guess in a round about way I am, I came via your comment at Carli’s, which was via Michele’s.

Great photos!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

LOL, LOL..I'm not sure I would have risked so much for a picture....! I might have thought I could do it later when no one was there....but, I don't know.

Michele sent me tonight, Carmi

Anonymous said...

Funny how it doesn't even look like pie. The meringue looks like something spongy. The lemon filling looks plastic.

Speaking of pie, my husband attended a church potluck tonight after which someone sent him home with 2 huge slices of pumpkin pie for me and my boy. Long story short, our dog was able to grab the plate off the kitchen counter and eat it all.

I'm predicting digestive distress.

Anonymous said...

And here I thought you were plugging my site.

ha! You already know my thoughts on pie, fella.

Great pic, and yes, I would have risked it. Anything for the "money shot". :)

Drop by for slice soon!

scrappintwinmom said...

Ah, the things we do in pursuit of beauty.
It was only a plate - and she can always buy more - right? Great pic...Mmmmmmm....pie.....I'm off to the kitchen - here via Michele!

Jennifer said...

To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure I would have ever noticed that this pie was translucent when backlit. That's all you :) ;)
Hey, if that's the only dish you've broken in all your marriage, good deal. I've broken tons myself, and I wasn't trying to take pictures of anything! :)

Snaggle Tooth said...

Luckily, I haven't had to try that type of sneakiness in awhile...
but for the possible potential for art- One must!
The Merangue looks strange- but it's an interesting study.

Raehan said...

cool photo.

So, the pie wasn't destroyed after all? Or was there a second pie to photograph after dinner.

I can't believe you've only broken one plate in 14 years. Wow.

Sarie said...

Damn Carmi, one dish in FOURTEEN YEARS?

Dude you rock.

My ex broke at least one plate a month. That's alot of plates over the course of a ten year marriage.

One dish in fourteen years. Wow. I'm SO sending my boyfriend to you for lessons in how NOT to break dishes.

Anonymous said...

Heck the first plate in 14 years of marriage? My huz broke something more like 14 dishes in the first year of marriage. ;)

I totally thought it was concrete. Somehow I just couldn't get my head to believe it was pie until I clicked on the enlargement. Even when you kept going on about pie, I thought maybe you put the wrong image with the post. That's how much I thought it was concrete. I love that about photography... it can really mess with your mind.