Wilting Strawberries

May 25, 2011 By: erik Category: Experiments, Food, Photography, Timelapse, Videos 140 views

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Wilting Strawberries ThumbnailStrawberry season is about to draw to a close in Spain. Although I’ve consumed several kilos this year, I’m sad to see them go. The thing that most annoys me about strawberries is how long they last after I buy them. In my experience, if I don’t eat them within 48 hours, they all turn to mush and they get all fluffy with mold. This is especially a problem since I normally can’t stop myself from buying a whole 2 kilogram box of them. So I decided to turn my frustration around and use the rapid growth of mold on my strawberries as the subject of a timelapse video.

Over the course of three straight days, I left a plate of strawberries under a lamp – for consistent lighting – in the corner of my office. Unfortunately, I can’t plug my Canon 40D into the wall, so I had to keep changing the battery, which is frustratingly inaccessible when the camera is mounted on my tripod. Therefore, I had to take the camera off the tripod twice a day to change the battery, which, no matter how careful I was, resulted in the tripod shifting slightly. Luckily, most of these jolts could be rectified by my mad Adobe After Effects skills in post production. The other inconvenience was that it took 20-30 minutes to download all the photos off my memory card (I need two memory cards like I have two batteries), resulting in a slight break in my pattern of “one shot every thirty seconds” timelapse scheme.

Nevertheless, I’m quite satisfied with the outcome. One unforeseen, but obvious in retrospect, consequence was that the lamp immediately dried out the strawberries, causing them to shrink, and also provided the mold with a less than fungi-friendly environment. Oh well. Perhaps next time I’ll try using a flash like I did with the larger fungi.

For full berry-rotting excitement, it can be viewed at 1080p on YouTube or Vimeo.

  • I don’t know – that one on the top left still looked pretty edible afte all was said and done. I hope you didn’t let it go to waste!

  • Lee

    I freeze them and put them in fruit shakes later, or make the shakes and freeze them in plastic bottles.

    • That requires a level of forethought I don’t often display.

      When it starts to look like they need to be eaten, and fast, I will often get out the blender and resort to a strawberry smoothie. Mmm!

  • Jimy

    Whenever I buy one of those 2 kilo boxes I usually take half of the box and cut the strawberries into small pieces and soak them in a good amount of fresh squeezed orange juice… don’t add sugar!  Good job on the video!