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Posts by: Helen Grace Ventura Thompson

Quirky Experiments Using Food to Produce Electricity

Catherine Losing

Catherine Losing

Some foods—in theory—can conduct and produce electricity. UK-based photographer Catherine Losing was curious to find out, teaming up with the guys behind the new food publication The Gourmand to produce some rather quirky and unconventional food images in her recent series The Serpent That Ate Its Own Tail.

Dead Sea Creatures Photographed to Look Alive for Eric Ripert’s ‘On The Line’ Cookbook

On-The-Line

There’s certainly something fishy about these images by NYC-based photo team Shimon and Tammar and it’s that these sea creatures are already dead! Shot for Eric Ripert’s cookbook On The Line, Shimon and Tammar wanted to shoot something dynamic and original while showing the freshness of the fish that Eric had been using in his dishes. They didn’t want to shoot a conventional-styled beauty still life that would look artificial. At the time they were shooting dancers and liquids using high-speed flashes, and decided to try a similar technique on the fish to create the illusion that the fish were alive and swimming.

‘Killed’ Exhibition Features Food Stylist Victoria Granof’s Editorial Outtakes

Hans Gissinger photography“Brain Food” by Hans Gissinger for American Vogue

It was when all the talk about chocolate as a nutrient (and edamame, fish, and almonds) was reaching a crescendo that we were brought together to make this picture. The crux of the article was whether these foods were enough to meet our nutritional needs. There was talk from the sittings editor about working vitamin capsules into the composition. I brought all the foods to set and some empty vitamin capsules. Hans brought a skull. A human one. The image that ran was minus the human head. That was just too much for Anna.—Victoria Granof

Among the many tantalizing and beautiful food photos that grace the pages of magazines, there are naturally those that never quite make it to print. Killed: Beautiful Food That Never Made the Cut is the newest collaborative exhibition conceived by food stylist Victoria Granof and photographer Craig Cutler that showcases a selection of Granof’s unpublished collaborations with renowned photographers. Here Granof shares the backstory behind a few works from the exhibition, which opens November 21st in New York City, and will include work from Hans Gissinger, Kenji Toma, Mitchell Feinberg, Marcus Nilsson, Ilan Rubin, Anita Calero, Marcus Gaab, Plamen Petkov, and Christian Witkin. Mementos from Granof’s decade-long collaboration with the great Irving Penn will also be on display.

Kenji Toma photography“Ice Capades” by Kenji Toma for Every Day With Rachael Ray

Thank you, food team at Every Day With Rachael Ray, for coming up with the weirdly wonderful idea of freezing every known thing in cubes—Tabasco, horseradish and jalapeno, lemonade and basil shreds. Milk dyed red, white, and blue! Thank you, photo team at Every Day With Rachael Ray, for knowing enough to hire Kenji Toma to shoot this. And thank you, Toma-san, for bringing me into this with you. They could have been…just ice cubes. The magazine ran several of the meticulously lit, Stonehenge-like compositions, and they were stunning. But it wasn’t until we cleaned out all the rejects from the freezer that we found this image, melting away on the drainboard.—Victoria Granof

 Thomas Michael Alleman and Linda V. Lewis photography“Sweet Sicily” by Thomas Michael Alleman and Linda V. Lewis

In 1999, I took my paltry first-time-author’s advance, along with the photo team of Thomas Michael Alleman and Linda V. Lewis, and my friend Monica and her impeccable palate to Sicily. There, we spent weeks photographing and documenting the pasticcerie of the island, for my book, Sweet Sicily, with the unfortunate publication date of September 10, 2001. One day in Palermo, after having crashed our rental car in a ghetto, we took refuge in a café in an alley somewhere. The chef rolled up in his souped-up Ducati with his heroin-addicted wife and commenced to flambé a cassata, then sprinkle azure crystal dust on it “to simulate the ocean.” When we came back the next day with cameras, he had cleaned up his act and donned boring chef’s whites. From somewhere he produced boringly perfect cassatas on paper doilies that looked like everyone else’s. So boring, Tom didn’t even bother to load film after this one shot. But the wife still lurked in her original state.—Victoria Granof

This post was contributed by photographer Helen Grace Ventura Thompson.

Painterly, Delicate Photographs of Everyday Foods

Shoshannah_White_Photography

Maine-based mixed media artist Shoshannah White makes basic everyday ingredients look bold yet beautiful and delicate. With this series, White chose domestic food items that have been stocking pantries for years to explore how these items sweeten, preserve, and decay. White uses encaustic over photographs, shooting the images with an analog film camera, scanning, retouching and digitally printing the images before painting over them with a hot, molten wax to create a soft and ghostly, glowing effect. The wax is translucent and somewhat reflective, so the work changes as you shift your viewing angle, hiding and revealing different areas of the photographic image.

Famous Works of Art Re-imagined Using Sausage

Karsten_Wegener_Photography

Karsten Wegener is a Berlin-based photographer with a particular penchant for sausages. His series Art in Sausage takes influence from famous paintings that he reimagines with meat products sourced from supermarkets and local butchers. Working with food stylist Raik Holst and designer Silke Baltruschat, each image is carefully crafted—I have to say Van Gogh’s sunflowers might be my favorite—a sausage bouquet made of Mortadella slices and single wiener-sausages.

Photos of Pre-Manufactured Desserts Shot in the Style of Late 20th Century Cookbooks

Antje_Peters_Photography

“Don’t expect recipes here nor any kind of instruction on how to prepare or devour the delicacies” says Netherlands-based photographer Antje Peters’ about her book Desserts, published last year by Automatic Books. The images in the book are an interesting mix of solitary fruit items and pre-manufactured desserts found in supermarkets across Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Clever QR Codes Composed of Avocados and Lemons

avocado qr code

San Francisco-based photographer Annabelle Breakey does some wonderfully creative things with food, in particular this rather inventive commissioned piece for Taco Bell. Working with stylist Heidi Gintner, the highly detailed QR codes were captured in their entirety as a single image with minimal retouching.

Clever Fruit Mashups Photographed by Rene Mesman

Rene Mesman

Amsterdam-based photographer Rene Mesman does some rather interesting things with food. Working with raw food, he aims to get us thinking about our relationship with food and what we eat. He admires the lighting techniques used in old paintings and likes to keep things visually basic, simple and graphic. With the help of talented food stylists, Claartje Lindhout and Hanna van den Bos, Mesman’s food combinations mirror the gastronomic experiments of Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adrià. The mismatch apple-pear and pea-blackberries are simple yet striking. I’m sure I’m not the only one who did a double take on the fish-pineapple.

Felicity McCabe’s Photos Have Fun with Fruit and a C-Stand

Felicity_McCabe_Photography

London-based photographer Felicity McCabe creates visually enticing still lifes bathed in unusual colour casts. Inspired by the concept of “The Arrow of Time” by Arthur Eddington and Vanitas and 17th century still life paintings, the images reflect McCabe’s excitement and horror in our lack of control over time. For her, the way the banana blackens and how the flesh decays mirrors our own body’s deterioration.

Richard Haughton Photographs the Food of Some of the World’s Most Creative Chefs

richard_haughton_Photography
Frédéric Anton, Le Pré Catalan. Sea Urchin, Gelée of Sea Urchin, Celery and Caviar

London-based food photographer Richard Haughton creates dazzling works of art with a clean, bright and inspired style. We asked Haughton to tell us about his many projects working with some of the best chefs in the world.