I started doing photography through a microscope when I was a medical scientist photographing human CELLS for cancer research. A visit to a museum surprisingly showed an exhibit of incredible beauty of molecules photographed through a special light microscope, the same kind I was using to look at cells. I went back to my lab at UCSF and immediately started photographing the chemicals of life that I had on my shelves. I was hooked. I began exploring the art and messages within our molecules more than 40 years ago.
First, I photographed the molecules of life to use as touchstones to teach children and adults with cancer about their bodies. They offer a whole different experience of how we know life. This morphed into wine and other libations and the hidden patterns within our molecules. And soon I was interpreting some of the microscopic patterns as revealing information more than their chemical properties. What we are seeing are the intriguing patterns made by molecules coming together. I call them molecular collaborations or expressions.
“Detecting designs and patterns where no designs and patterns were previously apparent can produce tremors of faith… As far as contemporary science can tell, nearly everything about the universe— its knack for self-organization; its fine-tuned potency to bring about galaxies, life, consciousness; its sheer existence—is vastly improbable. This would seem to suggest that we are here because of
a deliberate supernatural design.”
—Herbert Benson, MD, Timeless Healing
Photographs of the 5 tastes through the microscope revealed surprising information.For instance this photomicrograph of sugar reflects soft forms while sour tastes of acids showed angular and sharp forms. Is it possible that the molecules provided the inner pinnings to the words we use for tastes?
My exploration into the inner wine began when I was artist-in-residence at Sterling Vineyards in the Napa Valley. I spent two years working with the winemakers, photographing their questions – what would wine from a mountain vineyard look like compared to valley floor, what about changes during aging. Too numerous to mention here, over the years patterns emerged that I could interpret related to winemaking techniques like malolactic fermentation or ageability. See for yourself the beauty in the bottle in my first book “Wine’s Hidden Beauty” which bridges the art, science and spirituality of wine.Since then I have photographed thousands of wines, many legendary ones. Hearing about, and seeing, the art and soul of wine, others say now they understand why wine is sacred.
“Molecular photography captures a world invisible to the naked eye…. It opens the mysteries to molecules and cells. It is art based on reality, not an artist’s imagined representation. Images tell a story or act as a portrait. They may even communicate scientific information visually so it is more easily understood, then it becomes a teaching tool.”
John Naisbitt ~ High Tech, High Touch: Technology and Our Search for Meaning