Diner and street cart food isn’t known for being exciting: It’s the kind of thing you grab because it’s quick, cheap and, helpfully, recognizable. When you order a hot dog, you know exactly what you’re getting. Well, you don’t know exactly what you’re getting, but at least you know what it’s going to look and taste like.
But even though these food standards may not energize your taste buds, as photographer Brea Souders recently proved, they aren’t devoid of energy – the temperature differences in French fries and sodas mean different amounts of thermal energy and can actually make for some pretty interesting imagery.
In a series featured on the image sharing site VSCO, Souders took “a handful of quintessential American foods found in diners and sold by street vendors” and photographed them with a radiometric thermal camera. This technology uses infrared to analyze an object’s temperature and create a colorful visualization of how that heat is distributed, known as a thermogram. As Sounders points out, it’s similar to the kind of thing you may have seen “used by the military or companies in need of surveillance cameras,” especially when working in darkness.