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Yes, it is a second pretzel propping up the first. The "reflection" effect was serendipitous, but it caught my attention as to how others might perceive it as a second pretzel vs. a reflection.
The reason the pretzel blur is so strong is that it is shot with tilt to increase the DOF for one pretzel at the expense of the other as they are moving in opposing directions relative to the tilt orientation. As to the aperture, it was actually shot @ f16 to help with the DOF/expsoure. I typically don't like stopping down that far as diffraction starts to reduce contrast (preferring to shoot in the "sweet spot" of a lens)... but given how directionally strong my lighting was, it offset those concerns/issues fairly well.
As to the LLC oof ... cool that you mentally thought oof salt (I was kinda hoping). It is actually my grid. I wanted it in the scene (odd I know) as part of the process for "directional" light being used to reveal texture. I could easily take it to black, but "went with it" to see how it would fare.