Fine Art Food Photography & Montage Series

Fine Art Food Photography & Montage Series

Artist Statement 2009

Here, I explore our nourishing relationship with nature through a series of explorations of vegetarian produce. While this is essentially food photography in a studio, I am more interested in exploring the wonders of nature than gourmet food-preparation achievements.

My choice of produce and cutting board surfaces keep to basic earthen groupings of earth, water, and sky. I keep my choice of produce relatively simple: lemons and oranges, heirloom tomatoes, as well as celery, cucumber, mint and spinach.

For enhanced luminosity, the watery lemons and oranges are photographed on a textured glass cutting board lit from underneath with a blue gel to bring in a bright sky background. The earthy green items have a dark, grainy wood surface. The tomatoes have a translucent polypropylene surface, lit underneath to enhanced the overall glow and bring out the cross-hatching over time from repeated cutting and chopping.

I peel, tear, break apart, and magnify the outer whole surfaces. I explore presence and absence and life giving live with my various groupings of outer peels with inner orange and lemon sections. Each heirloom tomato offers surprisingly unique surface qualities to explore. I cut them rather thick, and explore the internal juices, seeds and meat. The layering of the earthly green mint and spinach leaves against the wood cutting surface give a woodsy glow. The ribs of the celery explored up close-up increase in weight and gravity closer to tree trunks.

I lit the images with a hard, key light to bring out all the rich textures and delicious juiciness, a soft, bright overhead fill, and finally a third light underneath for the translucent cutting surfaces. My journey in, out and around my self-selected summary of nourishing nature involves a range of camera angles. I use a macro telephoto lens to wander around the outer forms as well as enlarge the tears and slices to monumental scale. I use a wide angle to isolate tiny sections against expansive surroundings. Finally, I fill the frame with mid-sized groupings of elements to balance these items with their grounding.

I explore the juxtaposition of placing between two and four images in a row. This gives us the opportunity to take a journey along a variety of complements and contrasts, including inside/outside, presence/absence, macro/micro, transparency/opacity, weight and density, as well as life-giving-life.

It was a lot of fun to explore the wonders contained within these common grocery items that connect us to a world of nature that is still larger than our transitory man-made world. I hope to show humility and appreciation for the nourishment nature provides.

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