Photographer Takashi Homma’s delicate pictures of mushrooms aren’t meant to impress culinary palates. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the photographer learned that mushrooms thrive and absorb radiation. Intrigued, Homma headed to the forest to document the organisms that survived the horrific disaster. In his new photo book “Mushrooms from the Forest,” Homma teams up with graphic designer Tanaka Yoshihisa to portray these survivors.
Homma is not generally known for still life or nature photographs – he’s made his living by taking to the streets and documenting urban scenes in Japan. But the presence of these radioactive forest dwellers inspired him to switch gears, and explore the impact of nuclear radiation on a forest rich with flora and fauna.
Picking up a Geiger counter to monitor radiation, Homma packed up a pop-up studio, and set up camp deep in the forest near Fukushima. Using the Geiger counter he hunted for mushrooms that rated particularly high in radiation. Collecting over 100 specimens of radioactive fungus, he got to work, setting up each in his makeshift photo studio. Homma photographs his subjects on a crisp white background, treating the radioactive shrooms as if they were delicacies like truffle mushrooms. The images could easily be an excerpt from a high-end culinary magazine, but his subjects aren’t coveted ingredients – instead they’ve been rendered poisonous at the hands of man.
Interspersed with pictures of the forest, which looks healthy and vibrant, Homma’s book addresses the ways that human technology can create monstrosities in nature.
Via Spoon Tamago