Photographer Ryan Matthew Smith takes photos of exploding food for his publication Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. Since April 2008 he has amassed over 140,000 photos. Using a high speed camera recording at 6200 frames per second, Smith is able to capture a side of food that we normally can’t witness.
His subjects are anything from sausages to saucepans. He photographs hamburgers bursting apart – mayonnaise caught in the act of falling, tossed salads being frozen in mid-air. Smith explodes his food and accessories with the help of a bullet – fired from a 308 sniper rifle and travels at roughly 2800 feet per second at the point of impact, it creates the perfect environment for his photographs.
Elaborately posed, his objects stand out on his starkly minimal backgrounds – usually matt black. He shows cross sections of woks, elements, flames and pots, creating images reminiscent of modern abstract compositions. Smith says of his technique:
‘I had a pretty good understanding of compositing but given the large amount and complexity of photo illustration I spent many hours on Photoshop trying to find new ways to blend images together smoothly and quickly’.
Smith thrives on imbuing the mundane with life and motion. His photographs are a perfect display of what is it like to be caught in the maelstrom of food preparation, or destruction.