American in Spain

Wilting Strawberries

May 25, 2011
Wilting Strawberries Thumbnail

Strawberry 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.