Strange and familiar at the same time

A mighty macro

This is not a close-up of ice cubes in a rock glass about to be splashed with vodka, nor some walls in an ice hotel. This is a crystal of table salt, magnified 45 times, which oddly doesn’t seem like a lot when you stop to consider the size of a grain of salt.

Photographer Caren Alpert produced a series of macro food shots as a way to explore what she calls the mystery at the end of an electron microscope, where objects are both strange and familiar at the same time.

Each of them – see the full series here — has the hint of what it is, so that we can attach the mystery to the reality, which is how the wonder is served up with this work.

Ironically, with this photo of salt, I find myself thinking about saltshakers, about how 20 years ago or so, when folks found themselves in front of a plate of food, their first move was for the salt and a quick sprinkle onto their plate. Today, we reach for our phones to give our food a hit of Instagram instead.

NB: This is part one in a three-part series on salt. Stick around.