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Watching M&Ms Dissolve in Water is Both Beautiful and Unsettling


Photographer, filmmaker, and educator Jens Heidler of the YouTube Channel Another Perspective recently filmed and photographed M&M candies dissolving in water. The result is both a mix of beautiful and slightly unsettling.

Heidler bases most of his tutorials and creative ideas that he posts on his YouTube Channel on the idea that he likes to be able to make beautiful, unusual images and video using as few expensive tools as possible. He previously showed how to capture macro snowflake photos at home with very little equipment as well as his techniques for photographing and filming the beauty of soap bubbles freezing. With this latest video, he sticks to that strategy.

“All you need is any camera, a tripod, a small fish tank, and a petri dish with water,” Heidler says. “Put M&M’s inside [the dish] and take images as the candy is dissolving.”

He says placing the petri dish inside the fish tank allows you to separate the M&M from the background more easily, and Heidler recommends using different light sources, backdrops, and angles to create different results.

“Most of the shots were taken… with black synthetic material on the bottom (I used an old folder). Using a petri dish allowed me to separate the M&M from the background which boosted the mesmerizing flow of the white sugar layer,” he explains further. “This only works when you are using chocolate-peanuts M&M’s with a thick white layer, otherwise the effect will look pretty boring. The dissolving process works using normal cold water, starts immediately, and lasts for about 3-4 minutes until the white sugar layer has disappeared.”

In the photos below, Heidler’s technique is more visible. The petri dish and M&M are set inside the fish tank and fully submerged.

For the needle shots that start around the 1-minute mark in the video above, Heidler used a backlight to make sure the colors and streaks were more visible.

Watching these pieces of candy is mesmerizingly beautiful but also can be a bit of a stomach turner, as seeing food disintegrate is an unusual perspective.

In addition to his video above, Jens has a few shorter examples of his technique that he has posted to Instagram:

For more from Jens Heidler, make sure you subscribe to his YouTube Channel and follow him on Instagram.