As both an artist and an educator, Dr. Yan Liang’s main prerogative is to highlight the allure of science through photography. For many, words like biology and chemistry bring to mind formulas and diagrams void of feeling. For Liang, this couldn’t be farther from what he feels science actually is—the whimsical and confounding moments that make life worth exploring:
In this mesmerizing 4k timelapse, Liang uses nothing more than an M&M in a Petri dish filled with water. While the subject matter sounds banal at best, the results captured with the Sony A7R M2 prove to be anything but.
Famously, the M&M has marketed itself on the slogan “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand,” since its inception in the 1940s. These astounding frames demonstrate precisely what happens once we pop each candy onto our tongues. The colored coating flows off of the M&M in fluorescent streaks once it makes contact with water, leaving behind spherical rounds of milk chocolate swimming in a colorful sea of dye.
Using macro lenses, Liang captures colors mixing into one another as the dyes vie for equilibrium in the surrounding liquid. Even cracks in the M&M’s trademark “M” become visible close up.
A short and sweet film, Liangs work is a simple reminder to open our eyes and look for both beauty and reason in all that surrounds us—even candies from an ordinary vending machine.
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