Based in Milan, it was natural for Enrico Sacchetti to start his photographic career in the fashion world. After 12 years in the industry, he wanted to try something new, moving to London to continue his editorial and commercial work. However, this change was not big enough for Enrico, so soon after he decided to pursue a very different discipline. A lifelong fascination with science let Enrico into his current photographic niche. His specialty now includes large-scale physics, astrophysics and astronomy photographic projects.
“The industrial and petroleum work stems from shooting the large scale physics experiments as the structures are very similar and lend themselves in very geometric and graphic shapes, which is how I see the world.”
Enrico brought the IQ280 and IQ260 Achromatic on a recent shoot to Antarctica, where he put it to the test, with degrees as low as 48.9° Celsius!
"We arrived at -22.0°C and most of the time it stayed around that temperature, even though we did reach -48.9°C for about a week... the chill factor really made getting around difficult."
What was the main drive for you to join this expedition?
The Antarctica expedition grew from my desire to document the various science experiments that are currently being carried out on the White Continent.
An additional factor was my continual desire to pursue extreme, remote and adrenaline filled projects. The experience of shooting in such harsh environments with all of its inherent challenges; cold, windy, bright, remote conditions are more than repaid by the chance of photographing these unique locations with light that is just out of this world!
Your subject matter is a bit of a niche in the photography community, could you explain how you approach your work?
I guess my approach comes from my fashion photography background. I pay extreme attention to the aesthetics of the image, taking care of the small details and the lighting as much as the location allows me. I’m not just interested in documenting the science and the locations, but I’d like for people to take away a curiosity that will make them explore the subject in-depth.
You brought a Phase One camera system, an IQ280 and an IQ260 Achromatic digital back. How did the camera and digital backs perform in the extreme weather?
The weather was a mixture of mild and extreme situations. We arrived at -22.0°C and most of the time it stayed around that temperature, even though we did reach -48.9°C for about a week.
But the bigger problem was on days where the winds blew more than 5 or 6 km per hour, as the chill factor really made getting around difficult. Snowflakes and small bits of ice flew in all directions making it difficult to photograph.
Regardless, the IQ280, IQ260 Achromatic as well as the 645DF+ camera handled it beautifully! I had my concerns about the batteries, but I had NO problems whatsoever.
The only extra care taken was to try and keep the lenses clean from the flying debris and keep them inside my parka when moving from one location to the other.
"As I really like shooting in backlight situations the Phase One backs with their fantastically huge dynamic range, was the only thing that made that possible."
What did the Phase One camera system bring to your trip?
I would highlight 2 things. The lighting conditions are harsh in Antarctica; you have no idea till you are standing in it. Not only because the atmosphere is crystal clear but all that ice reflects and bounces light like crazy! As I really like shooting in backlight situations the Phase One backs with their fantastically huge dynamic range, was the only thing that made that possible.
The second thing would be the amount of information you get from shooting with these backs! I am planning an exhibition in 2014 where I will need large-scale prints and I am confident that the images will be extraordinary in every detail!
How do you choose your next adventure?
Choosing my next adventure usually depends on 4 factors. It is very important that the project or location is unique. I prefer the location to be somewhere remote. The third thing for me is the level of difficulty, the harder and more challenging, the better! And finally, the aesthetic possibilities are very important. All 4 factors was very much achieved with this exhibition, and I can only say it was an amazing experience, that far exceeded what I could hope for in an adventure.