A Beautiful Ice Cream Sundae

By Cory Disbrow on September 30th, 2013   |    Posted in:  Composition   |    1 Comment

Quite interesting that a photo from the Polynesian Resort would have anything to do with an ice cream sundae. Read on to find out..


I am a big fan of all different forms of art. One of my favorites is television. And as many of you may know, a favorite show of mine concluded last night. I am, of course, referring to Breaking Bad. Since I love to read interviews with interesting people, I stumbled upon an interview with the director of photography for Breaking Bad, Michael Slovis. If you’ve never watched an episode, do so just so you can see the amazing compositions he frames and the way he uses light to create such incredible mood and feeling. In the interview, he tells a little story about an analogy the show’s creator, Vince Gilligan, told him. He says:

“Vince had this analogy of an ice cream sundae. If you put chocolate sauce and marshmallow sauce and butterscotch sauce and pineapple sauce and nuts and caramel sauce and maple sauce and whipped cream and cool whip on the whipped cream and then cherries on that and coconut, you quickly lose the idea that you’re eating a sundae.

But, if you have one beautiful scoop of ice cream and just a little bit of chocolate and a little whipped cream, you have a beautiful ice cream sundae.”

This story struck me in a very profound way. In photography, we tend to over-complicate things, whether it be in compositions that are unnecessary just for the sake of being different, or tons and tons of processing to make up for an ugly day or a poor composition. The photo above is what I think happens when you think of simplicity. There is one compositional technique used here, and that is a leading line in the pavement that goes to the Polynesian building. Everything else is basic photography stuff, like knowing where the light is hitting and getting the exposure right. While it might not be the most ‘dynamic’ composition on the planet, I think (at least in my eyes) it draws a reaction, and brings up feelings for anyone who has walked these pathways, whether on a stay at the Polynesian or a simple visit. A beautiful ice cream sundae.

This photo was taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the Panasonic LEICA 25mm f/1.4 lens, both of which are available at Amazon. If you’d like to support the site, please click on these links here, and anything you buy afterwards will help us out. Thanks for looking!

1 Comment

  1. Karen :0)   |   Sep 30, 2013

    Love the analogy and love the Poly! Great photo!! :0)



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