A highly-creative blend of food photography, still life, and advertising photography, Carl Warner’s work is a perfect example of imagination on overdrive. “I create scenes in the studio that sometimes look like real scenes, but scenes that are in nature basically made out of other things,” he described his own work in a quick interview with Wex Photo Video. While he has also expanded his style to working with other materials, food items remain his best-known medium for creating what he calls food landscapes, or foodscapes.
“When you’ve got a tabletop in an empty studio every day, you’ve got to think of something to do in order to create an image. So you either go out and wander and find something, bring something back, or you actually build something sort of there,”Carl Warner
The photographer, artist, and director cited his background in advertising as a still life photographer as the starting point for his celebrated work. “When you’ve got a tabletop in an empty studio every day, you’ve got to think of something to do in order to create an image. So you either go out and wander and find something, bring something back, or you actually build something sort of there,” he explained. That was how a simple thought of portobello mushrooms looking like “trees on some alien landscape” gave him an idea to build landscapes out of his imagination. And as they said, the rest was history.
Lighting, according to Warner, is a crucial component of these foodscapes; they help create a sense of reality. For example, he would typically use a hard tungsten light source with blue fill lights to recreate sunlight for his made-up scenes. “It’s important that my images have a sense of reality, they feel like a real place. And so recreating realistic lighting or natural lighting is essential in order to fulfill the ambition of making the image have reality to it.”
While he has ventured into using other materials and products for his imagined landscapes, Warner never gets bored of his foodscapes. Understandably, it was the project that built his reputation, so he remains very, very fond of that body of work. He said he still gets commissions around the world for this type of imagery, so luckily for us, we’ll continue to enjoy these creative images.
Visit Carl Warner’s website to see his famed foodscapes and other impressive work.
Screenshot image from the video