You and Your Students!
Vicki Cobb, Education World Science Editor
Develop a photograph on an apple!
Setting the Scene (Background)
The school year is winding down, so I thought you might enjoy a project to begin next year with a fascinating oddity -- an apple with your picture developed on the skin in red and green! Some of your students might like to try it as well.
You might introduce this project with a discussion of what fruits and vegetables need to ripen. (They need water, fertilizer, and, most important, sunlight.) What happens if you prevent sun from reaching the skin of an apple? Will the skin of the apple turn red? If it doesn't turn red, but remains green, can you produce a pattern on the apple? If so, why not produce an image? A photographic negative not only produces a pattern -- it can reproduce a picture!
Select a full-sized but still-green apple from a tree. Don't pick it!
Note: "Fruitography" doesn't work on Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples. There is not enough color change in those varieties to make a print.
Behind the Scenes
During the ripening process, fruit becomes softer, sweeter, and tastier -- and it changes color to advertise its deliciousness. Light plays a role in the development of the apple's red pigment, called anthocyanin. The transparent parts of the negative let light through and the color develops. The dark parts of the negative keep the apple skin from receiving light; those parts of the skin remain green.
We've heard that some fruitographers have used tomatoes, eggplants, pumpkins, and squash for their portraits. Your summer garden can produce personalized fruits and vegetables!
Article By Vicki Cobb
Copyright © 2005 Education World