Extreme macro photos of food look both gorgeous and grotesque


posted Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 6:06 PM EDT


You've heard of Macro photography but how about über-Macro photography? That's one way, perhaps, to describe the work of San Francisco commercial and fine art photographer Caren Alpert who uses an electron microscope to capture striking extreme close-ups of food.

Who would have thought a shrimp tail at 230x magnification (right and in a larger size below) would look so gorgeous but it does. Using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) for her work, Alpert is able to display the shrimp's delicate tail as something bird-like, resembling the pink feathers of a flamingo.

“I’m not trying to dictate what foods are important or what foods you should like or dislike,” Alpert recently told Fast Company Co.Design. “I’m saying, ‘Look at it differently.’"

In some cases, such as in the close-ups of processed foods including the Pop Tart (also below), the results can be grotesque and frightening. Read more about Alpert's process behind creating the shots at Fast Company.

To see more of her amazing food images at full resolution, visit the gallery on her website.

An exhibition of Alpert's work, titled "terra cibus," is currently on display at New York City’s Citigroup Building (153 E. 53rd St.) through January 31, 2013.

(Via Colossal)

terra cibus no.32 / shrimp tail (230x magnification)
terra cibus no.34 / pop tart (450x magnification)