A Fresh Approach to Food Photography


The book The Photography of Modernist Cuisine has made quite an impact since its release.  It was quickly heralded as highly influential in the realm of modern cooking and received phenomenal commercial success. Even at a heavy six volumes, and an even heftier $499 retail price tag, the series is still compelling to purchase.

cooking vegetables

What sets the series apart from conventional food and cooking imagery books is that the images do not dwell either on food or done dishes. Instead, cooking techniques and ingredients are the focus, with stark  backgrounds of pure white or black are used.

grapefruit macro

The now famous author, Nathan Myhrvold says that you do not need a cookbook to state the obvious, which is that food is delicious. Hence the approach of the book showing cooking and food photography in relation with how to cook. This fresh approach to food photography has been in use in museums from Europe to Asia as well as in esteemed places like the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

raspberry splash

It has created so much attention, enough to justify a book on its imagery: The Photography of Modernist Cuisine. The unique book hopes to inspire on two levels, the first of which is to inspire cooking using fine-art food photography, and second, to make clear to readers how the images were created.

salad bowl

The book combines Myhrvold‘s passion for food with his love of photography.  The product is all of the best quality, and is quite a physically generous book of food photographs. It weighs in excess of 13 pounds, with large dimensions of 13 by 16⅜ inches, but its large proportions are justified as it features some of the loveliest and original food photos we have seen in a while.


“We wanted to show you the view you don’t normally get,” said Myhrvold. “Which means we did things like focus on tiny details with macro or supermacro shots, or high-speed shots — things that help you experience the food in a different way.” The Photography of Modernist Cuisine is third in Myhrvold’s series that follows his six-volume cookbook series called Modernist Cuisine, and his more simplified cookbook Modernist Cuisine at Home.

Check out the book here.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.