Burnt Toast - Doug Johnson

So, how do you burn English muffins to a crisp without setting off the smoke alarm? And how does one break several old water glasses into long jagged pieces without flinging slivers of glass all over the kitchen floor?

These are two of the problems I encountered while kicking off a new project inspired by the 40-year old image of burnt toast and broken glass described in POTW #15. As a street photographer, I rarely try to orchestrate scenes so trying to create a series of make-believe early morning mishaps (tentatively titled "Monday Morning Blues") is turning out to be trickier than I expected.

Silencing the smoke alarms was relatively easy -- just remove the batteries and open all the doors and windows. To shatter the glasses, I put them one at a time in an ancient pressure cooker and smashed it against a concrete step in the basement. Besides solving the flying glass problem, it was a good way to "let off steam".


Burnt Toast

Burnt Toast

Anyway, while waiting for the muffin to burn, I noticed that the backlit smoke pouring out of the toaster was pretty cool so I grabbed my camera, rested my elbows on the edge of the counter and ripped off 40-50 shots, hoping to catch just the right moment.

There's a lot about this image that appeals to me. I really like the composition, the colors and the shape of the smoke. Also, a hint of humor, mystery and strangeness (hmmm, why is SMOKE pouring out of that toaster?) is always a bonus.


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