With Magnification, Ordinary Foods Look Extraordinary


Caren Alpert is a photographer and self-described food lover who spent 8 years photographing food commercially — until she gave in to her love of microscopy. Albert describes her passion for the magnification of foods she eats every day in her artist statement:

In a society where we are obsessed with our food (either over-eating or under eating), let’s see if we really “are what we eat”. I wanted to deconstruct that very thing that I’ve spent so many years recording. I wanted to show what was there, but what we never actually saw — through the eyes of a fine art photography student, turned photo editor, turned commercial photographer, turned fine artist. This particular combination of science, photography and food has never been explored before. I am using equipment that is traditionally used for science and academic advancement for art! Turning that notion on its head is exhilarating for me.
Connecting people and their food consumption is something that I can achieve with ingenuity and flair. Empowering viewers to reconsider how they think about their food, using art, rather than a plate and spoon with a food sample is sensational. In this day and age when there’s so much rhetoric about food science, food journalism, food history, food how-to, what about a visual survey of what we all need, want and love (3-5/times/day)?

If you haven’t already guessed, the image above is a photo of cake sprinkles (or jimmies, or shots — depending on where you live) and has been magnified 65x, and to the right is the tail of a shrimp, magnified 230 times. View the entire series at Caren’s website.

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