The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

peeking through

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Minimalist Wednesday.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shots in today’s post are decidedly citrus in flavor. During the cold weather months, I’ll often set up a table top studio in my kitchen and experiment with various gizmos and time consuming techniques. In the case of today’s post, citrus fruit is sliced with a razor blade with the goal of creating sections that are about a centimeter thick. I set the slices up on a petri dish, which is in turn affixed to a little stage. Under the stage is a fairly powerful flashgun, which blasts light through the cultivar revealing its hidden structures.

That’s a navel orange in the one above.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The lemon one above is one of my favorites, since the light passing through it illuminates the ovum casing of the seeds.

The fruit slices end up operating as defacto light filters, I’ve discovered. The burst of flash lighting moving through the slices gets recorded on the camera sensor sans the opposite color frequency, as in the shot above which ended up with little or no representation on the blue plate of the rgb image. If you really want to get into the “nitty gritty” of how digital imaging works, a controlled environment with known parameters for color temperature and so on can really teach you a lot. Believe it or not, lessons learned while photographing centimeter thick slices of lemons in my kitchen informs and improves the underlying technique used to shoot a tugboat or bridge out in “the wild.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator is under medical orders not to eat limes or grapefruits, due to a medication that is consumed daily, which regulates my blood cholesterol levels. It seems that the pill is essentially a refined and concentrated form of a compound found in both cultivars, and that consumption of the fruit might create a dangerous set of conditions in the liver. That’s sucks, as I really used to enjoy drinking a “Cuba Libre” cocktail every now and then.

I’m particularly fond of the shot above, as everything just went right with it.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Come to the library!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek – The Roosevelt Island Historic Society has invited me to present a slideshow and talk about my beloved Newtown Creek at the New York Public Library on Roosevelt Island, on November 14th, 6 p.m. Free event!

Click here for more information.!

Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

November 13, 2019 at 11:00 am

Posted in Astoria

Tagged with , ,

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