Browse Adam Whyte’s Photographic Love Letter to New York Mushrooms

When deciding on the series’ aesthetic, Adam says he “wanted to capture these quirky characters in their natural setting.” Therefore, he objected to the use of a studio. But, despite this, most of the images in the book eschew the use of natural light, opting instead for a bright, overexposed feel: “I chose to use different methods of artificial lighting in the images in the book to create a world as strange as the subjects themselves,” explains Adam. Interestingly, this choice is not only aesthetic but also thematic, as Adam also wanted to reflect that “fungi do not photosynthesize or rely on sunlight”.

This specific approach to lighting resulted in one of Adam’s favorite images from the series, Untitled (Russula Emetica). From one of Adam’s first hikes, the majestic image shows the mushroom at a slightly upward angle – its pristine white body topped by a red hat, its gills crisp and detailed in the flash of light, a large blob of illuminated water. “Exploring different species of fungi and the methods of capturing them began to resemble how a photographer would explore light sculpting in the studio – to capture the ‘right’ portrait of his seated subject,” they elaborate.

After sharing some of the images online, Well Advised Studio’s Jordan Vouga – another mushroom lover – contacted Adam to see if he was interested in working on a book together. “We worked together to create a book that felt less like a field guide to mushroom species and more like a hybrid between a ‘field book’ and an art photography book,” Adam explains. “We wanted to give the mysticism and allure of mushrooms, the science of mycology, and fine art photography a space where they can coincide and work in tandem with each other.” The book formats and scales the images in several ways, combining mushrooms and sometimes offering full pages with particularly impressive landscape images. The accompanying text, Adam explains, shouldn’t be “a scientific guide or paper on foraging.” Instead, it’s “a mycological foray that provides glimpses of otherworldly shapes and colors far beyond the white pimples and creminis found on supermarket shelves.”

Hoping the series will spark some curiosity or wonder in its audience, Adam sums up that the book should be “a love letter to the whimsical and ethereal world of mushrooms”. Whether you’re a long-time mushroom lover, new to the mushroom world, or have never thought about quirky growths, this book is sure to show you the endless wonder of nature. environment.

Michael E. Marquez