We tasked Phase One Photographer Paloma Rincón with capturing an image of the XF IQ4 Camera System that conceptualized the idea of the new Infinity Platform and the high resolution – and to shoot her concept with the product itself. Here’s what Paloma had to say about inspiration and transforming an abstract idea into a tangible and visually-stimulating image.
What got you interested in product and still life photography?
“While I was learning and exploring different photography genres, I always kept shooting still life. It was a way to be able to experiment without depending on many people, and I found that I could have a lot of control in what I did. As I´ve always enjoyed arts and crafts, I started to include many custom-created handmade elements in my compositions. This helped me discover my own approach to still life – an approach where I can develop different skills and techniques I like. I found a way to combine all the disciplines I´m passionate about: art, design and photography. I´m always looking for the right balance between my more technical side and the more creative one. Both are equally important in the kind of projects I do.”
What is your biggest source of inspiration when preparing for a product shoot?
“I can get inspiration from many different areas: from design, architecture, installation art or sculpture, to the beautiful natural design of plants or flowers. I´m very interested in physical interactions that I can reproduce in my compositions: from the movement of liquids to the way a certain source of light hits a surface or casts a shadow. I like to play with it, and turn a technical challenge into a source of creative inspiration.
Set design and art direction are very important in my work. I always try to connect the product I´m shooting with the environment that will surround it. I frequently test materials and textures and try to get some feedback in the results during the preparation phase. This portion is very important in my process, and many times leads to more inspiration. Sometimes it can be applied to the project I´m working on, but other times it is like a new door I open that has to be explored in the future.”
What were your initial thoughts when Phase One asked you to shoot a product image of the XF IQ4 Camera System with the actual XF IQ4 150MP Camera System?
“It was a big challenge, and that is always very exciting. I developed 3 concepts with complete creative freedom, but at the same time I knew I had to create an image that could work for different purposes and formats. The chosen idea from the three proposed was the one that best fit all of the image needs. It had to be modular in a way, and simple enough to work as an evolution of a product image that had always been shot over a white background in the past. The camera had to be the hero, and I wanted to create a set that was linked to the product in an abstract way, and would make the Phase One XF IQ4 150MP pop and be the center of the image.”
How did you conceptualize the image?
“My starting point was the idea of infinity as a modular platform, and the super high resolution the IQ4 150MP has. The set is a composition of geometric structures that represent pixels. I used materials that could be related to photographic concepts: transparencies for the crystal in the lenses, and how light interacts with it and with color as it passes through. There´s a visual game where you at first see some flat geometries that look like a drawing, and when you look closely, they show their volume.
When looking for a way to represent the concepts I had in my head, I starting playing around with different materials. When I got together the perspex cubes and the color gels, I found there were many possibilities of having a clean and simple set design to feature the product, that at the same time could be playful and rich in a second reading.”
Why are high resolutions important for you in product photography?
“I work mainly for advertising, and my images usually have to be adapted to many different formats, including very extreme verticals and horizontals. Having the possibility to have a single master image that can later be cropped to fit all of them helps me focus on one single shot for every image, regardless of the formats it has to be adapted to. My sets are usually very detailed and have a lot of work behind them. In this way, I can spend the time and resources in a more efficient way. It is a delight to see all the detail and quality the image has, even after you crop it.”