Peeler up Close

More macro photography today. This is one of those remarkable kitchen devices, invented in the 1800s, that have persisted in use to the present. And don’t these detail shots look as if it is some antique bit of industrial scale machinery? This machine is derived from the peeler first in invented in 1864, if this web site can be believed. Our one is probably 20 years old now, purchased second hand in a little thrift store in Courtenay BC, but is much the same as ones you can get in the hardware store today. It is in a long lineage of apple peelers that were transformed from a peeler into a combined corer and a slicer too. If you have not used one, and have apples in quantity, you might want to give it a try.

You just stick the apple onto the three prongs, crank a handle which pushes the apple past a spring loaded peeler and through a round cutter that takes the core out and cuts the remaining apple into a long spiral slice, which you then just have cut with a knife – two cuts and you are done. Quick and easy. Only problem with our one is it does not work too well on really large apples, and out King apple tree produces fruit the size of soft balls. Our version clamps on the counter with a suction cup, but they can be had with a clamp to attach them to a table edge.

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Photos taken with SMC Takumar 100mm/f4 macro screw mount (m42) lens on a Canon EOS 5dii. Most of the images are at or near f22 (the camera cannot record this info from old lenses) and most exposures in the range of 3 or 4 seconds at ISO 200. However, some of the shots taken in live view, which I was using to help focus, are in the 1/2 second range at ISO 6400 which the camera chose for me. Which explains a series of images I have taken in simlar conditions using only live view and which I was thinking I should redo – now I know how the ISO happened to be that high. Live and learn, or  is that live view and learn? Fortunately the camera’s performance at fast ISOs is exemplary. Lighting was natural from the window, overhead room lights on as well.

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26 thoughts on “Peeler up Close

  1. Pingback: Reprise 6 | burnt embers

    • Hi Lissa – nice to have you visit my blog, and thank you for the nice comments. I never looked at the peeler this way when I was cranking the handle or washing it or any of those activities, not till I looked at it through a camera, or with the idea of taking a picture.

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    • Hi Laurie – one of the nice things about the machine is that even though industrial in appearance, it is hand operated and allows one to process very large numbers of apples for drying or freezing or making into pies or whatever. I like machines that are efficient and human powered, they seem to be ever harder to find. The best example, though easy to find still, is the bicycle. Maybe I should take some pictures of my bike sometime, but would probably need to get the street grime off of it first.

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  2. What a great set of images, excellent composition in each and great choice for the B&W conversion. If I were to choose one I like the best, it would be the third from the bottom. The lighting, the composition, the textures…all work wonders together! Thank you for sharing.

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    • David – thanks for the great comments. I almost did not include that image for some reason I am not clear about. I am glad you like them, the attempt to photograph this object was inspired in part by some of the things you are doing on your blogs.

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    • Wow! Danita I feel honoured to be on your blogroll. What a great set of blogs, an eclectic mix too.

      (Not sure if it was intentional, but the link is to just one of my posts, rather than my home page. Doesn’t bother me, but if its not what you want, thought you would like to know.)

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  3. The subject is well suited to the B&W treatment and the composition is superb in all. My camera does not have live view and, so far I haven’t missed it. But there are times when it would come in handy. All of my tripod mounted macros are shot in the manual mode, so I haven’t had any surprises. Old habits die hard.

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    • Hi Ken, thanks for your kind words. The thing about live view is that with my camera one can zoom in on screen to a detail, and this is really zoom in close, and then set the focus. It is extremely handy for this purpose. My mistake has been to take the camera off manual mode when in live view. If I leave it on manual and open the aperture to allow enough light for focusing, and then reset the aperture, then all is fine, I think. Otherwise, I have to go out of live view and then I need to reset the shutter speed, which is a nuisance.

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    • Hi Sally. Macro obsession? Is that some kind of personality trait that can only be seen under magnification?

      And you are right, it is a hunk of metal, though the “frame” is coated with green enamel and it has a red painted wood handle so it is not quite so stark looking as I have presented it here.

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  4. Thank you Joseph. I am constantly surprised how such mundane houshold objects around the house can be so unexpectedly compelling when viewed up close. This is a pretty complex object, but many kitchen utensils look pretty cool in small blown up fragments. On a larger scale are the photos I took of our upright piano which are in an earlier post and also look at pieces and not the whole.

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